Except for a hamstring injury that ruled him out for almost two months, Ross Barkley has had a very good season for Aston Villa so far, with the Chelsea loanee proving instrumental to their high-flying start and continued push for European qualification.
In fact, over the weekend, he scored his third league goal of the season, which was enough for the Villans to collect all three points against fellow top-six hopefuls Southampton.
Villa are certainly well-aware that Barkley’s scintillating form means that Chelsea won’t let him go on the cheap, and they are reportedly keeping an eye on alternative targets should an expected permanent stay not pan out. But, according to the Daily Mail, Chelsea have also not made a decision on the 27-year-old’s future yet, and will wait until the end of the season to do so.
New head coach Thomas Tuchel has given a clean slate to everyone at Chelsea, and he would probably want to at least assess Barkley as well. Meanwhile, Barkley himself is apparently happy to wait it out for the time being, until the conclusion of the current campaign.
The Birmingham Mail are also reporting along similar lines, claiming that there haven’t been any discussions regarding a permanent deal, with Aston Villa manager Dean Smith later confirming this as well.
“There have never been any discussions. We contacted Chelsea at the start of the season about taking him on loan and we are thankful they allowed it. He is playing football, playing with a smile on his face and enjoying it at the moment.”
- Dean Smith; source: Birmingham Mail
Barkley’s valuation will continue to rise if he keeps up his current performances, especially with his contract only expiring in 2023. Aston Villa may not be able to meet Chelsea’s eventual asking price should we decide to sell him, but there should be many other clubs who would be interested in signing the brilliant attacking midfielder come next summer.