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More than meets the eye over Everton's £50m demand for Tottenham target Barkley?

Everton's Ross Barkley in action

Everton could be trying to force Ross Barkley's hand with their valuation of him amid Tottenham speculation.

Everton's Ross Barkley misses a penaltyEverton's Ross Barkley

Reports emerged this week that Everton are demanding a staggering £50 million for playmaker Ross Barkley.

The Mail reported the news days after Toffees manager Ronald Koeman gave Barkley an ultimatum to sign a new deal, with his current contract set to expire in 2018.

Everton's Ross BarkleyEverton's Ross Barkley

£50 million is a staggering fee for a player in Barkley's situation, bearing in mind his inconsistent performances.

Everton are known to value their players highly, getting nearly £80 million combined for Marouane Fellaini and John Stones in recent years.

Yet this one could have a little more to it.

Everton's Ross BarkleyEverton's Ross Barkley

The £50 million valuation could have been put out there by Everton, to try and pressure Barkley into signing a new deal.

Tottenham are favourites to sign Barkley at 6/4 with SkyBet, but it is a stretch to see them committing such a figure and break their transfer record by £20 million in the process at a time they are looking at spending prudently.

If Barkley realises there is little chance of landing his ideal move, he could be persuaded to put pen to paper for Everton.

There has not yet been a resolution to the saga despite Everton's attempts to avoid it dragging on.

The reports he could cost £50 million may just have been another part of their ploy to try and subtly bring it to a conclusion in their favour.

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