Everton manager Ronald Koeman held his first pre-match press conference of the season yesterday (Thursday) ahead of their season opener against Stoke City and among the topics discussed were of course questions about their transfer activities, namely the big rumors swirling around Gylfi Sigurdsson (incoming) and Ross Barkley (outgoing).
Even though Everton have had bids of £40m and £45m rejected by Swansea for Sigurdsson, Koeman thinks they are “close” to hammering out a deal while Swansea apparently want a swift resolution at this point as well.
“We are close. Let’s hope we get an agreement as soon as possible. I heard some rumours that the talks broke down but we are still in negotiations with Swansea.”
This would then presumably grease the wheels of any Ross Barkley transfer, with Everton already climbing down from their £50m asking price to something a tad bit more reasonable, like, say, £30m. That’s the amount the Guardian reckon Koeman’s hinting at when talking about having the experience to know how these sorts of deals tend to entail. Though he also serves fair warning that they will not drag this out until the final day, so if either Spurs or Chelsea truly want Barkley, we better get a move on.
“We won’t let him go cheap, of course not. We have the experience of what we need to pay for players who came here and had one year of contract. If there is a club thinking we can wait until the last day and we put some money on the table and we get Ross Barkley, sorry, you do not get Ross Barkley.”
“If there is an offer, maybe the club will not accept. He is a really good player; a young player, an English player. With all the valuations we have seen the last few weeks about players, then if you want to buy Ross it is a big [financial] deal.”
“I still believe he will make the move. If not, he is a player of Everton and if he shows to me he is one of the best then it is possible he can start, like everyone else.”
-Ronaldo Koeman; source: Guardian
A bit of a pickle then for Barkley, especially if he’s truly looking to leave. For Chelsea, the £30m is certainly more attractive than the £50m, but other than the homegrown factor — and of course the troll-Spurs factor — it’s tough to see why the Blues would be truly interested.