Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Steve Bruce interested in Newcastle United loan transfer of Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley

According to The Athletic, Newcastle United would be interested in signing Ross Barkley on loan if Chelsea make the midfielder available for a summer transfer.

Newcastle are monitoring Barkley’s situation at Stamford Bridge after he returned from a season-long loan spell with Aston Villa. The 27-year-old made 24 Premier League appearances under Dean Smith but only started 18 games.

Barkley struggled to regain a prominent position in Smith’s plans after a seven-match run out with a hamstring injury. He had begun his Villans stay promisingly with two goals in his first two outings but only scored once more.

Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Smith will not pursue a deal for Aston Villa to sign Barkley permanently (TEAMtalk) due to the decline in his form. Chelsea are also open to letting him leave amid interest from West Ham and a host of Premier League sides.

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But any club wishing to sign Barkley could face paying far more than the £15million (Sky) Chelsea spent in 2018. Reports by 90min in February claimed the Blues value the Everton product at £40m. However, that was before his form and time in the Villans’ side fell away.

Thomas Tuchel would consider bringing Barkley into his plans at Stamford Bridge if no deals are agreed. The £96,000-per-week maestro would have to fight for minutes in a Chelsea side that reached this season’s Champions League final.

A move to Newcastle could see Barkley given another chance to play regular top-flight action with Bruce keen. The United boss wants to add a fresh face to his midfield and has options beyond Arsenal loanee Joe Willock.

TBR’s view: Barkley is not who Newcastle need

Barkley burst out of the gates at Aston Villa to show people what he can do with back-to-back goals. But he is not who Newcastle need this summer, with a holding and box-to-box option a higher priority.

The Athletic add the Toon have scouted Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien, Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher and Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham this season. Bruce may also revive his interest in Hamza Choudhury after failing to sign the Leicester City holding midfielder in January.

Bruce will need a player to make the runs but also connect defence with offence if Willock does not return. It is unlikely that Barkley would offer that, with the former England international an attack-first sort of player.

The 33-cap maestro was lauded by Smith for his creative ability in November, dubbing him ‘gifted’ via the Daily Mail. He considered Barkley a ‘marquee signing’ for Aston Villa, but less than a year on saw enough to say goodbye.

Newcastle’s hopes of a loan transfer could also be dashed by Chelsea wanting to sell for a lucrative sum. Barkley has two years remaining on his contract, and the Blues would surely like to offload the midfielder’s high wage if his Stamford Bridge future is only on the fringes.

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