'Special' player now not given a squad number for this season, after rumours Aston Villa could sign him
Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley has been linked with a move to Aston Villa this week and now the player has not been given a squad number ahead of the new season.
Reports suggested last week that Everton were keen to bring the ‘special’ Chelsea man back to Goodison Park but the move hangs in the balance.
And the Daily Mail reports that Villa could yet make a move to sign Barkley this summer as Steven Gerrard looks to bolster his midfield options.
The 28-year-old needs a move away from the West London club this summer as his switch from Everton just hasn’t worked out for him.
Barkley not given squad number
In what is probably the clearest indication that Barkley is set to leave Chelsea this summer, the Englishman has not been given a squad number for the upcoming campaign.
Barkley is one of four Chelsea players who have not been handed numbers, the other three are Ethan Ampadu, Billy Gilmour and Michy Batshuayi.
The former Toffees man actually spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan at Villa Park and enjoyed a decent spell in the Midlands.
The midfielder played 27 times under former boss Dean Smith, managing four goals and one assist.
But since returning to Stamford Bridge, Barkley has barely featured for Chelsea and now looks set to leave this summer.
When Barkley completed his switch to West London in 2018, he was viewed as one of the most promising English midfielders in the country. But due to lack of playing time and a dip in form at Chelsea, he’s seen his stock fall rapidly.
The midfielder is now 28-years-old and should be heading into his prime years, so he will need to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge to play regular first-team football.
Barkley could represent a good opportunity for Steven Gerrard as he looks to add depth to what is already a strong Villa midfield.
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