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Sam Allardyce says Ross Barkley's Everton future is a 'difficult' topic

Ross Barkley
Image: Ross Barkley was a target for Chelsea and Tottenham in the summer

Sam Allardyce says he will not stand in the way of the Everton board if they decide to sell Ross Barkley in January.

Barkley, whose contract expires at the end of the season, almost left the club for Chelsea in the summer but he U-turned on the move despite the clubs agreeing a £35m fee.

Tottenham also have a long-term interest in the 23-year-old and Sky Sports News reported in the summer that they were prepared to wait until January to land the player.

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"It's a difficult one," said Allardyce. "I haven't had the opportunity yet to find out the true, or the whole, scenario and say, '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', and the club say 'look, if he's not going to sign for us, this has to be the case', then I accept that."

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Allardyce says he would be willing to play Barkley when he recovers from injury even if he does not sign a new contract at Goodison Park.

"If Ross stays, and 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 until he leaves on a free transfer," he said.

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"I would hate that to happen, but it might do."

Allardyce believes Barkley could be fit enough to play in the new year after suffering a "particularly bad" hamstring injury in August.

"He's not too far away, by the looks of it," he said. "He looks fit and healthy. The hamstring was a particularly bad one."

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