Aston Villa have been offered a chance to sign one of their former loan stars this week…
What’s the word?
According to the Mirror, Premier League giants Chelsea have offered midfield flop Ross Barkley out to several of their top-flight rivals, including the Villans and another one of his ex-clubs, Everton.
The 28-year-old, who cost the Blues around £15m from the Toffees in January 2018, clearly has no future under Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.
“Normally you expect – and this is not a secret – somebody to go on loan from Chelsea to Aston Villa that he is the main guy at Aston Villa and then he comes back and takes the next steps.
“This has not happened, so maybe there is a long way to go, but you never know,” the German head coach claimed.
Barkley has less than 12 months to run on his current £100k-per-week deal, so this summer represents one last chance for Chelsea to earn some sort of substantial fee for his signature.
Do you want Barkley back at Villa?
This is ultimately a deal that manager Steven Gerrard must avoid as it is a mistake that his predecessor, Dean Smith, has already made.
To some extent, Tuchel’s worrying remarks highlight just some of the story – after scoring in both of his opening two games for the club, the Englishman struggled to continue his form throughout the 2020/21 campaign.
His subsequent 22 appearances saw the Chelsea man provide only one goal and one assist and in the final two months of the season, he lost his place in the starting lineup, as per Transfermarkt.
The Athletic’s Gregg Evans dubbed the attacking midfielder a “liability,” having watched him every week. He told his podcast:
“He doesn’t do enough for me now. I’ve seen enough of Ross Barkley now to realise that he’s becoming a bit of a liability for Villa. He’s not helping out enough as he should, really.”
Since then, Smith has gone and that creative void has been filled by Gerrard’s former teammate, Philippe Coutinho. That alone should be enough for Villa to realise that they do not need another player of his calibre, especially not one earning an eye-watering £100k-per-week.
Last season, the £10.8m-rated ace made only six Premier League appearances, playing 175 minutes in total with just one of those being a start. He did score a goal on the final day of the season but evidently, he has not played enough to warrant taking a punt on him.
As such, Gerrard must steer well clear of Barkley this summer transfer window.