Aston Villa are eying an ambitious raid on Chelsea to sign Ross Barkley and if they aren’t willing to let him leave, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also an option, according to The Telegraph.
The Villans won 1-0 against Sheffield United in their season opener but boss Dean Smith is keen to add to his squad ahead of the deadline.
Smith is eyeing the Chelsea duo on loan, although Premier League rules dictate that he’ll only be able to sign one of the midfield players.
Barkley played all 90 minutes of Chelsea’s 6-0 win over Barnsley last night, scoring in the game against the Championship team.
In the Premier League, however, he has played just 40 minutes of football during the opening two games of the season.
Barkley made 31 appearances for the Blues in all competitions last season but it’s fair to suggest that he’s not exactly considered the first choice by Frank Lampard.
Loftus-Cheek is probably even further down the pecking order at this moment in time, although he did start the opening game of the season at Brighton.
Since being substituted in the 61st minute of that contest though, he’s failed to make Lampard’s matchday squad for the next two fixtures.
Last season he played just 10 games – starting just three – and it still getting up to scratch after a serious Achilles tendon injury.
TBR View – Villa’s transfer strategy looks improved and Barkley could thrive at Villa Park
Last summer the Villans scoured the European market signing plenty of players ahead of their maiden season back in the top-flight.
This time around the search has been more meticulous, with emphasis placed on young British talent and ones who have played in the Premier League.
Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Emi Martinez and Bertrand Traore have been added to the ranks with more set to follow.
Loftus-Cheek is a decent player but injuries have halted his progress so with that in mind Barkley looks like a more attractive option.
The £96,000-a-week player has played 86 times for Chelsea but a large number of those have been as a substitute.
Now 26, it’s time for the midfielder to be playing regularly and in the current Villa set up he could thrive playing week in and week out.