Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin admits the players want Ross Barkley to stay at the club and he hopes his fellow midfielder makes a good decision about his future.
Barkley has been given until next weekend to agree to the contract extension offered by the Toffees or be sold in the summer as manager Ronald Koeman believes it is not good business to keep a player entering the final year of his deal.
That ultimatum ensured the England international’s name earned the headlines ahead of Friday’s visit of Watford but his response was equally attention grabbing as he fired home the only goal from 25 yards before performing a knee slide in front of the Gwladys Street End.
At the moment neither side appears to want to make concessions in relation to Barkley’s contract impasse but Schneiderlin said the squad were united in their opinion.
“We know the contract is between him and the club but what we can say is he is still working hard, has a good attitude and is very happy in the dressing room,” he told Press Association Sport.
“We will see what is going to happen. We can’t say too much on whether he will sign the contract or not – we want him to sign but it is his decision. Hopefully he will make a good one by signing the contract.”
Schneiderlin has only played with Barkley for four months having arrived from Manchester United in January but he has no doubts about the 23-year-old’s quality or his potential to improve.
“I am very happy to play with him. He is a very good player with a good attitude, he works very hard every day to be a better player and he has great quality,” the Frenchman added.
“He is still young and he progresses week in, week out – and he can continue progressing.”
Barkley’s future is not the only one in doubt, with striker Romelu Lukaku already attracting interest from a host of clubs after telling Everton he will not sign the lucrative deal they have offered him to extend his contract beyond its remaining two years.
While Koeman has been less outspoken on the Belgium international’s position the club face the prospect of battling to hold on to the Premier League’s top scorer this season during the summer.
Schneiderlin admits he and his team-mates can do little to influence the situation.
However, the 27-year-old is confident the club are fully prepared for all eventualities if the worst does happen and one or both depart in the coming months.
“I think the team and the players like Rom and Ross very much,” he said.
“We know they are doing very well and the football club loves them but after that it is between them and the club.
“We can’t control this, we can only control ourselves and the rest is not up to us.
“I am sure the club has a plan A, plan B and plan C.”