Spurs transfer news: Barkley wants 'a new challenge'
Everton boss Koeman says England star is on his way, but £50m tag might stretch Tottenham
Ronald Koeman has admitted that Ross Barkley's career at Goodison Park is over by saying the midfielder wants to leave for "a new challenge".
According to the Daily Telegraph, one of several papers to cover the comments of the Everton manager, Barkley will head to pastures new in the coming weeks, with Tottenham and Manchester City leading the chase for the 23-year-old England playmaker.
Apparently the reason for what the Telegraph describes as "the breakdown in the relationship" between player and club rests with the former, who has refused to sign a new £100,000-a-week contract.
In a candid conversation ahead of Everton's Europa League qualifier against Slovakian side Ruzomberok, Koeman was asked if he was planning for life without Barkley.
"Yes, 100 per cent,” he replied. “I knew this already from the end of last season. We made a really good offer to him to sign a new contract, he declined that contract and told me that he is looking for a new challenge."
Saying that Barkley "is not in Everton's future any more", Koeman added: "It is his decision. I need to respect that and see what happens."
As to the rumours linking Barkley with White Hart Lane, Koeman says "there is no offer on the table". It's believed the Toffees have slapped a £50m price tag on their midfielder and that could prove tricky for Tottenham, who are short of funds after renovating their stadium.
The BBC reports club chairman Daniel Levy claiming that transfer spending this summer by Premier League clubs is getting out of control.
"We have a duty to manage the club appropriately," said Levy. "Some of the activity that is going on at the moment is just impossible for it to be sustainable. Somebody spending £200m more than they're earning, eventually it catches up with you and you can't keep doing it."
Spurs' lack of cash is likely to result in them missing out to Arsenal in the hunt for Nice ace Jean-Michael Seri, reports The Sun. The paper claims the Gunners are "in pole position" to land the midfielder with a bid about to be tabled.
Spurs baulk at Everton's £50m valuation of Ross Barkley
Spurs may have just banked £54m for the sale of Kyle Walker to Manchester City but they are refusing to splash out a similar amount on unsettled Everton star Ross Barkley.
The talented midfielder was left out of Everton’s pre-season tour to Tanzania last week and will miss this week’s trip to Holland as well, with the club saying he has a groin injury, but there is a growing suspicion he will be offloaded before the transfer window closes.
Barkley’s future has been the subject of much speculation and he has so far refused to sign a new deal as he enters the final year of his current contract.
Spurs have been monitoring his situation but the Daily Mail reports chairman Daniel Levy is not impressed by Everton’s £50m valuation of the player in an inflated market.
Spurs would be prepared to pay between £25 and £30m so there is quite a gulf between the clubs on valuation.
Arsenal and Chelsea have also shown interest in Barkley and Everton expect better offers than Tottenham's to come later in the window and they obviously do not intend to let him go cheaply.
However, the Daily Mirror reports that Everton could be prepared to lower the asking price for the 23-year-old and says manager Ronald Koeman is prepared to sell the midfielder.
There has been no progress towards a new deal since Koeman said in April that Barkley would be sold this summer if he did not sign a contract extension.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have shelved any plans to move for Porto right-back Ricardo Pereira as they weigh up options to replace Walker.
Kieran Trippier will carry on as first choice though they continue to assess other players for the position to maintain competition for places.