Koeman tells Barkley to learn from bar bust-up

Everton's English midfielder Ross Barkley (L) reacts as Manchester United's English midfielder Ashley Young (R) ...
Everton's English midfielder Ross Barkley (L) reacts as Manchester United's English midfielder Ashley Young (R) remonstrates with Everton's English defender Mason Holgate during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFF

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has told Ross Barkley to avoid potential trouble spots after the England midfielder was punched in the face during a night out.

Barkley was left with a bruised face following what his lawyers described as an “unprovoked attack” in a Liverpool nightclub as the 23-year-old celebrated Everton’s win over Leicester on Sunday.

A video that circulated on social media showed Barkley having a seemingly friendly conversation with an unidentified man, who then seemed to punch him twice before being restrained by bystanders.

Koeman insists Barkley wasn’t at fault for the bust-up, but he warned his star it would be wise to keep away from late-night venues in the city.

“It is not what you like to read in the press about your players,” Koeman said on Thursday.

“I think it could happen to anyone in town and maybe now you realise it is maybe not the best place to be. It was the wrong time at the wrong place.

“But it is no problem for me if the behaviour (is good). He didn’t drink, he was driving his car, and if you meet those type of people then something can happen.

“Maybe that is the reason I live outside the town.

“You learn from incidents that happen and that’s good because you need to learn.”

While Koeman had no worries about Barkley’s conduct in the nightclub, he remains more concerned about his ongoing contract impasse.

Barkley has just over one year left on his current deal and Koeman reiterated his stance that he needs the player to sign a new contract before the end of the season.

“I am not involved in negotiations but I know the board is talking to his agent,” he said.

“We offer him what is good, what is normal for the player. We need to know the answer before the end of the season.

“I spoke to Ross several weeks ago and he mentioned his ambition was the Champions League and I told him I had the same ambition.

“He is one of the key players, a kid of the club and a kid of the town, and in my opinion there is no better place for him to continue than at Everton.”


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