New Everton manager Sam Allardyce has spoken of his desire to keep hold of playmaker Ross Barkley, but thinks it may be tough to keep him when the summer market comes around.
Barkley is yet to feature for the Toffees this season after picking up a hamstring injury in August. He also fell out with ex-boss Ronald Koeman.
The 23-year-old also came close to making a late move to Chelsea back in the summer, only for everything to fall through at the last minute.
The sacking of the Koeman may have given Barkley a new lease of life as he prepares to re-join first team training.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the manager explained how he sees the current situation.
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.
He continued by adding:
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.
It looks as though there is an ongoing situation between Barkley and the club still, but all parties will be keen to resolve these issues in the near future, with the England international continuing to recover from injury.