Aston Villa are hopeful of striking a permanent deal for midfielder Ross Barkley according to Ashley Preece of Birmingham Live. The midfielder joined on loan from Chelsea in September and it is thought Villa will start discussions on a permanent deal in January.
Barkley had been a fixture in the team until he sustained a hamstring injury against Brighton. He is fighting his way back to fitness and will likely be involved in Villa’s Boxing day game against Crystal Palace.
Preece notes that Chelsea will command a significant fee for the England midfielder. Barkley has two and half years left on his Chelsea deal and its thought Chelsea want double what the £15 million they paid Everton.
Aston Villa Set to Begin Talks Over a Permanent Deal for Barkley
Barkley Has Impressed Since Arriving From Chelsea
Barkley only joined Villa in September but has already impressed Dean Smith, his teammates and the fans. He has settled into the team well and has played a significant role in Villa’s excellent start to the season.
Barkley has one goal and one assist in his eight games so far. But his overall play and relationship with the Villa attackers have made him an instant hit. Barkley has struck up a great relationship with Villa captain Jack Grealish. They were close friends before Barkley joined and its thought Grealish’s commitment to Villa has opened Barkley’s eyes about a permanent move to the West Midlands.
Villa are excelling this season, flying high and certainly a spot in the Premier League top seven isn’t out of the question. Dean Smith is likely to meet with Villa’s Chief Executive Christian Purslow and Sporting Director Johan Lange following Villa’s game with Manchester United in January.
That meeting will see the Villa hierarchy discuss their plans for the winter transfer window. A permanent deal for Barkley will be on the agenda as well as other potential incomings and departures.
Chelsea Open to Letting Barkley Leave
Like many Premier League managers, Frank Lampard is open to letting fringe players leave the football club to generate funds.
It is thought that Ross Barkley is on that list of players who can leave for the right price. The summer arrivals of Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz pushed Barkley further down the pecking order. His move to Villa has suited all parties and Chelsea will be open to a permanent deal if the two teams can reach an agreement.
Frank Lampard is desperate to trim down his squad and push for more players in the summer. While he has admitted in the past Barkley still has a future at Stamford Bridge, it could be the ideal time for Chelsea to cash in if Villa match their asking price.
Other Areas for Villa to Strengthen Alongside Securing Barkley
While discussions over a permanent move for Ross Barkley will be high on the list, Dean Smith may look at improving other areas of his squad. According to Ashley Preece, Villa are interested in bringing a left-back and another attacker if deals can materialise.
Matt Targett has been a fixture in the side this season and has improved on last season. He has made the left-back spot his own this campaign. However, his deputy Neil Taylor hasn’t featured in the Premier League season and the Welshman has been limited to the cup competitions.
His Villa career is coming to an end and it is thought Villa will sort out a replacement for Taylor. One man likely to be on the list is Brentford’s Rico Henry. Should Villa pursue Henry, it would be the third time Dean Smith has worked with the full-back.
Villa may also look to add another attacking player. Dean Smith is light in the forward areas. Ollie Watkins has played every game this season but any injury to him leaves Villa severely light up front. Brazilian forward Wesley is working his way back to fitness having suffered an anterior cruciate injury against Burnley back in January.
Villa’s only other option is youngster Keinan Davis but he is yet to score a Premier League goal and its thought Villa may look to loan him to a Championship side in the New Year. Again, Villa will only move for an attacking player if the deal is right and the player is available.
Departures Rather Than Arrivals Expected in January for Villa
Dean Smith will be looking to shift some players on in the winter window. Villa do have four senior goalkeepers but that will reduce to three with Lovre Kalinic on the way out. The Croatian international has already agreed to join Hadjuk Split on loan for the rest of the campaign which will go through in the new year.
Elsewhere, experienced full-backs Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady will reportedly be allowed to find clubs with their contracts running out at the end of the season. Both are unlikely to receive new ones so Villa will be open to cashing in if an offer is made.
Henri Lansbury will also reportedly be allowed to leave. He was omitted from Villa’s Premier League squad and his contract also expires at the end of the season. He can also find a new club in January if a suitable offer comes in.
One surprise exit could be Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane. It is thought the Irishman is unhappy with the lack of game time. He fell out of the side when Barkley arrived and has been used sparingly since.
Smith has preferred youngster Jacob Ramsey in the heart of the midfielder and has also pushed Jack Grealish back into the middle. Hourihane is loved by his teammates and the fans. But it remains to be seen whether he will still be a Villa player at the start of February.
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