Big Sam Hints That Someone May Already Have A Deal With Ross Barkley
Probably one of the underrated transfer sagas of last summer was Ross Barkley potentially moving away from Goodison Park. He eventually stayed but might he already know where he'll eventually be moving to?
In the summer it was very much expected that Ronald Koeman and Everton would be losing Ross Barkley, especially when they brought in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney to take the number 10 role off the Englishman.
All summer there was talk of the player who'd come through the academy at Goodison Park moving on to either Chelsea or Spurs, especially as he only had one year left on his contract.
A young Ross Barkley was seen to be the next Wayne Rooney. Image: PA Images.
Just as it looked like he'd chosen Antonio Conte's side as his new team on transfer deadline day he decided to back out of the deal and head back to Merseyside to continue recovery on his injury.
The 23 year old is yet to return and on Saturday new boss Sam Allardyce told Sky Sports he'd like to keep the midfielder but hinted Barkley may have already chosen to move on, saying:
"I'd like to think we can keep Barkley, unless somebody's already done a deal for him. I am not daft enough to know in this game that those words and phone calls might not have already gone on.
"If we could get Ross Barkley to stay then nobody would be more delighted than me. Whether that is a possibility I do not know. For me it's about getting him back in the squad first and seeing where we are from there."
Could Barkley already know who is next club is? Image: PA Images.
Barkley's contract runs out at the end of the season and he has previously turned Everton's offer of a new deal down, it's unlikely with the team in a far worse state than anyone imagined they'd be in that he'll now sign a new deal.
Back-to-back wins have at least seen the Toffees springboard up the table to 10th but their lack of goals will continue to be a worry, as will the form of Ashley Williams and some of the rest of their defence.
Calvert-Lewin celebrates against Huddersfield. Image: PA Images.
It's anyone's guess just where Barkley will end up, but it surely won't be staying at Everton.