Ronald Koeman has admitted that his confidence is waning over Ross Barkley's decision to sign a new contract with Everton.
The Toffees manager revealed that Barkley's indecision over whether to put pen-to-paper, on the fresh terms offered to him, had made it increasingly likely that the midfielder would be sold in the close season.
Speaking to the press ahead of his team's final match of this term (via the Liverpool Echo), Koeman was typically upfront and honest about his assessment of the situation, and explained why he would not be losing sleep if Barkley opted not to sign his contract and leave for another club.
He said: "No (I'm not confident he will stay), because it's a long time he' been thinking about his future.
"If you offer a player a new contract, a good contract, it means you want to keep the player.I don't need to explain more. If we didn't want him to stay longer we wouldn't offer him a new contract.
"But OK I'm not worried because I like to work with players who like to stay and we are looking for players in that position. Even if he stays he'll have more competition next season."
Koeman had hoped to hear an answer from the 23-year-old before now but, with little in the way of communication from Barkley or his agent, the ex-Southampton boss was now ready to show his hand first and potentially put the England international up for sale.
Barkley has just 12 months left to run on his current contract at Goodison Park, and Koeman stated that a decision would be made, one way or another, if he wasn't informed about Barkley's plans.
He continued: "It's after the game or Monday. And then we will know."
Koeman was also questioned about Everton's dealing in the upcoming summer transfer market, and the Dutchman added that he had already held numerous discussions with director of football Steve Walsh and the Blues' board about what targets he would like to acquire ahead of a testing 2017/18 campaign for his side.
He said: "We have had several meetings and know what we want. It's up to the board now to make the deals.
"If we can do our business this summer the team for next season will be really strong but it's difficult sometimes. We're already two or three months into getting a picture of what we need. Let's hope we do good business."
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