Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is reportedly on the look out for a 'No.8' and feels Ross Barkley fits the bill. The club is hoping to sign him on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.
Ross Barkley has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge all summer, with West Ham also reportedly interested in signing the former Everton man on loan.
Barkley was rumored to be considering a move to West Ham where he would team-up with former Everton manager David Moyes.
The 26-year-old had a strong 2019-20 season for Chelsea, rediscovering the type of football he played at Everton which made him one of the most coveted players in the English game.
But Barkley has seen his playing time at Chelsea dwindle due to the side's plethora of other options in midfield. He will continue to face stiff competition for places this season with the likes of Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Chelsea have a surplus of players in their squad having spent over £200 million in the transfer window to sign seven footballers this summer.
Barkley, however, will be keen to play as many minutes as possible in order to showcase his talents to England boss Gareth Southgate as Euro 2021 approaches. Therefore, a loan move to a club like Aston Villa may appeal to him.
Villa keen to add Ross Barkley to pair him with Jack Grealish in the middle
Aston Villa narrowly managed to escape relegation last season, finishing a point above the drop zone in 17th place. The club has, however, taken a step forward this summer in their quest to establish themselves in the Premier League.
Villa signed Ollie Watkins from Brentford for £28 million. Watkins finished the 2019-20 season as the second highest goal-scorer in the Championship with 26 goals.
The club also brought in goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal for £20 million and former Chelsea winger Bertrand Traore from Lyon.
However, Villa's most important signing, arguably, was tying down Jack Grealish to a new five-year-deal.
The club will now be looking to improve on their impressive summer by adding another quality England international in the form of Ross Barkley.Published 24 Sep 2020, 13:52 IST