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Police investigate Ross Barkley punch incident

Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Ross Barkley of Everton wears a ripped shirt during the Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on December 19, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

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Merseyside Police are reviewing video footage which appears to show Ross Barkley being punched on a night out following Everton’s 4-2 win against Leicester City on Sunday.

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With details scarce at this point, the only evidence we have that this took place is the grainy cell phone footage below which appears to show Barkley first talking to a man and then being punched in the face before falling to the floor as the other individual was dragged away.

It is reported that the incident took place in the early hours of Monday morning in the Santa Chupitos cocktail bar in Liverpool and although there has been no comment from Everton, Merseyside police had the following to say.

“Merseyside Police is aware of footage online reportedly showing an assault in a bar in Liverpool city center. No report of an assault has been received but officers are making enquiries to establish the circumstances of the incident.”

Barkley, 23, played a pivotal role in Sunday’s win for Everton but after the game his manager Ronald Koeman revealed that there is a new contract offer on the table for the England international and the Toffees’ manager appeared angry that the academy product has yet to sign it.

Koeman also said quite simply that if Barkley doesn’t sign the new deal on offer then Everton will sell him. Arsenal and others said to be interested in signing the lifelong Evertonian who often divides opinion with his talent undoubted but sometimes he fails to influence games.

Whether or not any of that led to the incident in question remains to be seen but surely it couldn’t have helped.

The fact that Barkley was also involved in some hefty challenges on Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren during the two Merseyside derbies this season probably didn’t help his reputation either, while the ongoing uncertainty around his Everton future has angered some Toffees fans who want him to commit his future to the club.

In recent weeks Barkley has been in good form despite criticism following Everton’s derby defeat to Liverpool on Apr. 1 and he has four goals and eight assists in the Premier League this season.

Now he will face plenty of questions about the incident off the pitch.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports