Everton manager Ronald Koeman says he is “impressed” by the drive shown by Ross Barkley to leave the club.
The Dutchman confirmed that Barkley was seeking a new challenge, specifically how little tracking back he can get away with under another manager.
Koeman said: “I came to Barkley a few months ago and said, ‘I want you to do more running off the ball.’
“You should have seen how quickly he bolted towards the exit door – I haven’t seen him move like that before or since.
“It has occurred to me that I might be able to get him to put in the requisite shift just by issuing these demands mid-game.
“But this would probably involve a complex system of dressing up opposition players as exit doors and convincing Barkley that you can only open them by snatching the ball from their feet.
“All in all, it probably makes more sense just to pay the £50m for Gylfi Sigurðsson.”