Contract rebel Ross Barkley has reportedly sustained a hamstring injury in training, with rumours of an impending move to either Chelsea or Tottenham suddenly thrown into doubt.
The England international returned to the Everton squad in the past few days following a successful hernia operation, but has been dealt a massive set back with another injury just days into the start of the new season, as reported by The Sun.
The Toffees’ academy graduate has so far refused to sign fresh terms with the Merseyside club and Everton are reportedly willing to let Barkley go this summer for the right price, rather than lose him for free next year when his contract expires.
The 23-year-old is set to undergo scans to determine the full extent of the problem and long-term suitors Chelsea and Tottenham will no doubt be watching closely.
The former Sheffield United and Leeds loanee didn’t make a single pre-season appearance for Everton and wasn’t named in the squad for Everton’s 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday.
In the past few days Everton boss Ronald Koeman suggested Barkley could stay at Goodison Park this summer after no offers were received for the youngster.
Chelsea and Tottenham are both rumoured to be interested, but reportedly remain unwilling to meet Everton’s £50m valuation of the Liverpool-born star.
Everton are reportedly hot on the tails of £50m-rated Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson as a potential replacement for Barkley, but will have to raise considerable funds if a deal for the 27-year-old is to become financial viable.
Speaking to the press, Koeman said “We won’t let him go cheap, of course not.
“We have the experience of what we need to pay for players who came here and had one year of contract.
“If there is a club thinking we can wait until the last day and we put some money on the table and we get Ross Barkley, sorry, you do not get Ross Barkley.