London (AFP) - Everton manager Ronald Koeman sparked a transfer chase for Ross Barkley on Wednesday by revealing he is "100 per cent" certain the England midfielder will leave Goodison Park.
Barkley is in the final year of his Everton contract and last season he was told by Koeman he would be sold if he did not sign the Premier League club's offer of a lucrative new deal.
Koeman claims Barkley has made it clear he wants to leave and the Dutch coach expects the 23-year-old to eventually get his wish, with Arsenal and Tottenham both keen on signing the Everton youth team product.
Asked if he was 100 per cent sure, Barkley would go, Koeman told reporters: "Yeah. Ross told me at the end of the season he wanted another challenge.
"His personal situation is really not so difficult: we made a good offer to him to sign a new contract, he declined that contract and told me that he is looking for a new challenge.
"It is his decision, I need to respect that and then we will see what happens but what I heard from the board is there is not really an offer on the table for Ross."
Barkley is injured, having had surgery on a minor groin problem, and will be out for up to four weeks.
Koeman has already brought in Davy Klaassen from Ajax to replace him and is eyeing a move for Swansea playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.
But when Barkley returns to fitness, Koeman has no plans to remove him from the squad until a transfer is sealed.