Unconvinced Koeman ‘eyeing Barkley swap deal with Spurs’

Mark Scott

Ronald Koeman is reportedly willing to swap Ross Barkley in order to finally get his hands on Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

The French international came close to joining the Toffees on Deadline Day in the summer, but Spurs were able to complete a club-record £30million deal at the last minute.

And now the Sunday People believe that Koeman will make another attempt to sign him in January and will let Barkley move in the opposite direction in order to seal the deal.

Koeman has been repeatedly asked about whether Barkley, at 23, can ever fulfill his promising potential, and his latest comments did little suggest that he has the utmost confidence in the midfielder.

“Of course I think the player needs to improve,” Koeman told reporters.

“He needs to improve the tactical aspect of his football, out of his position, he needs to be more clinical and have more creativity in the offensive part of the team but he is working hard on that and trying to get the best out of himself.

“Maybe that type of aggression (he showed with a foul on Jordan Henderson in the Merseyside derby) meant he lost a bit of control in that action but he is working hard.

“But he needs to improve to be the player that maybe everyone expected when he was 18 or 19.”

Asked whether Barkley could be that player, Koeman replied: “I am not sure. I am not sure.”

Sissoko, meanwhile, has struggled to live up to expectations at White Hart Lane and has already drawn criticism from his manager Mauricio Pochettino, who may well look to cut Tottenham’s losses just four months into a five-year contract.