Ronald Koeman raises doubts over Ross Barkley's future at Everton

Ruthless and pragmatic, the Everton boss delivered the ultimatum with the air of a man who would not lose a single second of sleep should he have to sell Barkley, making it clear he questions his long-term commitment because of his apparent reluctance to sign a new deal.

"I like to work with players who like to stay", Koeman said. Before next weekend we need an answer.

"In pressing, in working for the team, but we know his qualities in finishing".

With manager Ronald Koeman's wanting to strengthen his defence in the upcoming transfer window, defender Jagielka said he still has more to offer after 10 years at the club. Koeman has also stated that the club require a final decision from Barkley by the end of this season as they need clarification before starting their summer spending.

One player Everton could look to replace Barkley with is Wolverhampton Wanderers' Helder Costa, who has impressed in a disappointing season at Molineux. "He improved in several aspects in his play, but I still think he can do better", Koeman said.

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"I spoke to him and we need more productivity from him".

"There is no competition in the case of Behrami and Doucoure as they are two players that can play together, t hey have different characteristics", added the Watford manager.

"We had talks about the future, about ambitions, but that's between us".

Barkley, 23, has been stalling on penning a new deal at Goodison Park for some time and has been variously linked with Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea, per the Sunday Mirror's John Richardson. "If we reach our objectives of staying in the league then it's been a very good season".

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  • Tabitha Byrd