That's what they would have done if we hadn't sold them, all of them wanted to leave, but wanted to play until that happened. Lukaku was talking about it openly for years if we didn't start challenging he was off. Stones and Barkley never said anything publicly, I respect that as a difficult but more respectful position to take. Barkley was going to be sold until he got injured, the club had been putting public pressure on him for months to sign or be sold.
We protected the value in Lukaku's contract like rabid accountants, we would never let that get lower than 2 years, and we spent months getting 99.9999% of the way publicly with Lukaku while Barkley was running down a year lower in the background. The years since Barkley last signed a contract, he had become a far more important player for us and his contract at the moment might not be much more than 40K. All that time we've not seen fit to reward his role in the team financially, he's not going to win trophies this season or next, the good players have left and he's getting dropped and made an example of by Koeman when he has a bad game or doesn't shit golden eggs.
Absolutely it was Koeman more than the club, but the manager becomes the club, he decides how you fit in, your opportunities, the direction of the club. The chairman, the board, the fans and Barkley wanted Barkley to stay, Koeman never rushed to offer him a new deal, he had 2 years left when he came in, he took him for granted and never appeared to rate him. I think Barkley would have potentially stayed after Koeman was sacked, but I don't think Allardyce does anything to change his mind.
Seems like you're just playing devil's advocate.
Stones asked for a transfer request and we didn't sell him, and he still played for us until he got his move.
Koeman and Ross' relationship was blown way out of proportion. Ross was more often than not first name on the team sheet, and actually got the best out of Ross Barkley. He just couldn't deal with a little bit of tough love or minor criticism. The Wayne Rooney's and Steven Gerrards of old had the world on their shoulders at this stage of their careers.
The truth is that the lads soft, incapable of making decisions on the field and off the field and living with the consequences. Be it storming down the tunnel at Wembley because he thought the fans had boo'd him, or getting lamped by a lad half his size for being a cunt.
Let's just face it, he's not as good as we thought he'd be. And this whole thing has been lead by an agent. Ross isn't capable of orchestrating something like this.