Speaking after Barkley scored the winning goal in a Premier League win over Southampton on Saturday, January 30, Villa boss Dean Smith revealed that the two clubs have not been in dialogue since the loan agreement was struck at the beginning of the season.
Aston Villa Not in Talks Over Extending Ross Barkley Stay at Villa Park
Dean Smith ‘Thankful’ to Chelsea Over Barkley Loan
Barkley stooped late in the first half to head an excellent winner for Villa against the Saints, as Dean Smith’s side continued their superb season so far by climbing to eighth in the league table.
The question of whether he is hoping to secure Barkley’s services on a more permanent basis was put to the Villa manager after full-time, but Smith told the media that talks between Villa and Barkley’s parent club Chelsea have yet to take place.
“There’s never been any discussion about signing him permanently,” Smith said in his post-match press conference. “We contacted Chelsea at the start of the season to take him [on] a season-long loan and we’re thankful to Chelsea that they allowed him to come here. He’s played football and he’s playing with a smile on his face and enjoying his games at the moment.”
Barkley Recovering Well From Hamstring Injury
Barkley missed seven consecutive league games with a hamstring injury between late-November and the new year, but Smith is pleased with the 27-year-old’s powers of recovery.
He added: “He’s not 100 per cent yet but he’s getting there. He’s actually played more minutes than he’s had training minutes over the last 12 weeks.
“Because we were all in self-isolation, he was back to fitness but couldn’t do any group training so he’s having to get his fitness back during matches. He got 90 minutes [yesterday] so he’s getting better and better and it was a superb header”.
That header was Barkley’s fourth goal in 13 games for Villa since joining at the start of the season.