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Ross has to decide


Everton’s Ross Barkley. Photo: Reuters

Everton’s Ross Barkley. Photo: Reuters


Everton’s Ross Barkley. Photo: Reuters

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has greater issues with Ross Barkley not signing a new contract than he does over the midfielder's social activities.

The 23-year-old was left with a bruised face after allegedly being punched while on a night out in the city following Sunday's win over Leicester.

Koeman had no worries about Barkley's conduct in respect of that matter but his ongoing contract impasse - the England international has just over one year left on his current deal - remains a bone of contention. "It is not what you like to read in the press about your players," Koeman said of the nightclub incident.

"I think it could happen to anyone in town and maybe now you realise it is maybe not the best place (to be). It was the wrong time at the wrong place."

Koeman has reiterated his stance that he needs Barkley to sign a new deal before the end of the season. He said: "We offer him what is good, what is normal for the player. We need to know the answer before the end of the season."