Everton to offer Ross Barkley a new long-term contract
Move reflects his emergence as one of the finest young talents in England
Ross Barkley: Everton want to deter inevitable suitors before the World Cup next summer.
Everton are to offer Ross Barkley a new long-term contract that reflects his emergence as one of the finest young talents in England.
The 20-year-old has two and a half years remaining on the lucrative deal he signed in December 2011 but after he has begun to fulfil long-held expectations at Goodison Park this season, Everton plan to open talks on improving Barkley’s terms.
The club want to reward the midfielder’s impact as a Premier League regular and also deter inevitable suitors before a summer that is likely to feature a World Cup in Brazil for their homegrown talent.
“Ross has got a long-term contract with us so it is not a situation where he is coming to the end of his contract,” said Roberto Martinez, the Everton manager.
“As a club, we will always want to reward young players if they do well. Remember that Ross was a youngster trying to break into the first-team squad. Now, for me, he is going to have an important role, so that is going to be reflected. But there is not a timescale [on the contract being signed].”
Triple leg fracture
Everton have always been proactive on Barkley’s contract situation, handing the England international a maximum two-and-a-half-year contract at 17, when he was recovering from a triple leg fracture, and replacing that with a four-and-half-year deal days after his 18th birthday.
Negotiations on his latest contract, however, are yet to commence.
Manchester United and Chelsea were among those interested in Barkley before he turned 18 and made a handful of appearances for Everton under David Moyes, but it is only this season the Liverpool-born midfielder has established himself.
Barkley, advised to remain at Everton by the Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, admits Martinez’s appointment has been crucial.
He said: “I knew when I heard he was coming in I’d get my chance. I’d seen the way he was with Callum McManaman and James McCarthy at Wigan, that he gives young players their chance.
“I knew I was the type of player to suit him because he’s a really tactical manager who likes to build up the play. So I felt confident this could be the season I’d break through.”