Everton manager Ronald Koeman will not disclose exactly what Ross Barkley told him about his decision to sensationally snub an 11th hour move to Chelsea on transfer deadline day, but insists the contract rebel still has a future at Goodison Park despite revealing that he will miss at least another two months through injury.
Having entered the final 12 months of his current deal and rebuffed the offer of a lucrative extension, Barkley was widely expected to leave Everton over the summer and attracted interest from Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. However, concerns over his lofty valuation and a torn hamstring that followed groin surgery saw the saga go down to the final day.
Toffees majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri claimed that Barkley pulled out of a switch to Chelsea after all the formalities of a £35m ($45.8m) deal had been completed, although Barkley later took to social media to deny that he had ever undertaken a medical and that he "simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit".
"Of course it was a strange last day of the transfer window but I don't think it was only that for Everton, but for most of the Premier League clubs," Koeman told reporters during his pre-Tottenham press conference at Finch Farm on Thursday (7 September).
"Ross also came to see me last Tuesday and he explained to me why he turned down the chance to go to Chelsea. That is private.
"He was open to making a move to another club and I heard from the board that there was an agreement between Chelsea and Everton. But finally the decision was by the player. And that was what happened at that time."
Asked if Barkley's career with his boyhood club was now effectively over due to his current injury predicament and the fact that he is likely to be sold in January, Koeman added: "No because he is still an Everton player. To the end of this season he has his contract.
"Of course the player at this time is injured and it will take another two or two-and-a-half months before he is available. So I don't need to take that decision now and I can wait and see what will happen. Then we will see what the decision will be at that time."
Transfer window assessment
Ambitious Everton lavished approximately £200m on nine new recruits during an extremely busy summer, although an otherwise impressive window ended in disappointment after the club were unable land the striker and left-sided centre-back they so obviously needed.
Explaining the failure to adequately replace Manchester United's Romelu Lukaku, Koeman revealed that they simply ran out of quality options after missing their top few targets.
"Overall I'm happy [even though] we did not get 100% of our business done," he said. "A striker was our priority. I thought we'd get option 1 or 2 in. It's difficult when you go down to option 5 or option 6, and there were not the players available that could improve the team."
On Kevin Mirallas, Koeman admitted that the Belgian winger was disappointed not to secure a late departure from Merseyside amid apparent interest from former employers Olympiacos and West Ham United although insisted that nobody ever agreed a deal with Everton.
"He stays and needs to work hard and give competition," the manager stated.