If Aston Villa are promoted back to the Premier League, one of the best signings they could make would be to bring back club legend Gareth Barry.
The Mirror say that the former captain is keen on a return as he is looking to relocate back to the Midlands but is desperate to still be playing top flight football next season, with a clause in his contract enabling him to escape if an unhappy spell at West Brom is brought to an end by relegation as seems inevitable.
The 37-year-old scored 47 goals in 401 games across a 12 year period in his last spell at Villa Park, but his top flight experience and quality could be key in midfield for Steve Bruce’s side.
Granted, the likes of John Terry, Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak already possess that, but there are doubts over whether they would be able to lead the team in the Premier League, particularly in the case of the latter.
Barry would not only bring a feel good factor to the club but would also prove to be an upgrade on the likes of Jedinak in midfield, adding experience of playing at the top level alongside the less experienced likes of Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury.
The role could also give Barry the chance to begin his coaching career in Bruce’s set-up, something would be bound to appeal to him at a club which is clearly important to him and learning from an experienced manager.
The only sticking points may be his wages and just how much of a priority a holding midfielder would be for the Villans. With the likes of Whelan and Jedinak already featuring in that position as experienced options, Bruce is unlikely to want to add another without getting rid of one.
With promotion bound to force the club to improve across the field, that may not be his top priority this summer even if it would be the perfect opportunity to bring back a club legend.