Everton manager Ronald Koeman admits he is increasingly resigned to selling Ross Barkley in the summer owing to the England midfielder’s reluctance to sign a new contract.
Koeman is already facing the departure of 25-goal top scorer Romelu Lukaku, who has turned down a new deal, and hinted that he expects Barkley to leave Goodison Park too.
“The board has been working a long time to sign Ross for him to stay for a longer period but it is up to the player,” he said.
“But we don’t wait until August. Next weekend we need an answer. Either he accepts the contract or we sell the player. But if you need so much time then you have doubts. I like to work with players who like to stay.”
Barkley, 23, has made 37 appearances for Everton this term but has been linked with Tottenham and is entering the final year of his contract, meaning he could leave for free next summer.
Koeman, who is believed to want Malaga striker Sandro, confirmed the club had begun planning attacking signings for next season. Winger Kevin Mirallas is also close to signing a new contract.
“That is good because he is a really good player,” Koeman added. “I spoke to him and we need more productivity from him.”