Everton have a pair of big decisions to make this summer, and they involve Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley. But while the Belgian looks set to thrive wherever he plies his trade, Barkley’s next move will be crucial to his future.
The 23-year-old has revelled under the tutelage of Ronald Koeman this season, and has scored four goals in addition to seven assists in the Premier League.
But the midfielder’s contract expires next summer, and a string of clubs have been linked with the England international.
So, what should he do?
If Everton do decide to cash in this year, there are only six theoretical options in England for Barkley to move to if he wishes to progress.
It’s unlikely a switch to Liverpool will happen, while links with Chelsea or the Manchester clubs have been few and far between.
So it’s down to Arsenal or Tottenham.
And of the two, Spurs appear most interested. A glance at the Premier League table would suggest they’re the smart option too.
Plus, it’s clear Mauricio Pochettino is building something for the future at White Hart Lane, and at 23, Barkley could be a key part of that, alongside international team-mates Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier.
And there’s little argument that Barkley couldn’t slot in to Spurs’ brand of football.
The other option of course, is that he agrees a new deal with the Toffees, and sticks around to see if Koeman can land a trophy or Champions League football.
But that may well depend on whether or not the Merseyside outfit can convince Romelu Lukaku to stay put.
Persuade Lukaku to stick around, and bring in rumoured transfer targets Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney, then it’s all systems go for the Toffees.
But fail to keep the Belgian at Goodison Park, and it’s hard to see how they can reach those heights.
And if that’s the case, then suddenly a move to Tottenham makes an awful lot of sense for Barkley.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing