Everton manager Ronald Koeman has told The Mirror that talks over a new deal with Ross Barkley will start early into 2017.
Barkley, 23, has suffered a frustrating start to the season under new boss Koeman, as he's often been left on the bench or substituted early, with the Dutchman so far struggling to get the best out of the playmaker.
Everton's Ross Barkley
The midfielder has also lost his place in the England squad after a disappointing couple of months, and rumours now surround his future at Everton.
Barkley's contract expires in the summer of 2018, meaning that he's entering the final 18 months of his deal at Goodison Park, and one Premier League rival appears to be keen on signing him.
Reports from the London Evening Standard and The Telegraph earlier this week suggested that Tottenham Hotspur are interested in luring Barkley to White Hart Lane, with a fee in the region of £25million to £35million being mentioned.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman
With a strong base of English players at Spurs, such as Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Dele Alli and Harry Kane, Tottenham could be an appealing proposition to Everton youth product Barkley.
Ahead of Everton's Merseyside derby with Liverpool, manager Koeman has told The Mirror that Barkley's contract is not a priority right now, but talks over a new deal will start in the new year.
Koeman added that he isn't too interested in the rumours about Barkley's future, as he knows that, right now, no other teams are knocking on the door for his signature.
“We know it’s about 18 months of contract,” said Koeman. “It’s not the priority now but in the new year we will have talks. The priority now is to play and win. I’m not interested in what you write, what you said about future of players. Nobody is knocking on the door,” he added.
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