Cape Town - Everton manager Sam Allardyce insists midfielder Ross Barkley’s future at Goodison Park is out of his hands.
Barkley’s contract at Everton expires at the end of the season, with Chelsea expected to renew their interest in the midfielder in January after a proposed move fell through on August transfer deadline day.
The 24-year-old fell out with former Everton manager Ronald Koeman, who made it clear that the England international was available for transfer.
But after taking the reins at Everton, Allardyce will let the board decide Barkley’s future, as the player makes his way back from a hamstring injury.
Allardyce said: “It’s a difficult one. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to find out the truth, or the whole scenario to ask: ‘Where does it lie?’ and then make a decision one way or the other.
“I’m not in control of that in too many ways. If someone comes in during January and says: ‘Here you go’ [with an offer] and the club says: ‘Look, if he’s not going to sign for us this has to be the case,’ then I accept that.
“If Ross stays until the end of the season and I feel he is giving 100 per cent to the team, like he has done since he was a kid, then he is an available asset for us until he leaves on a free transfer. I would hate that to happen but it might do.”
Everton welcome Premier League strugglers Swansea City to Goodison Park on Monday, December 18.
Kick-off is at 22:00 (SA time).