Chelsea are open to offers for Ross Barkley with Aston Villa keen on signing the midfielder, according to reports.
Barkley has come off the bench in both of Chelsea’s Premier League games this season but was given 90 minutes in the 6-0 win over Barnsley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening.
With N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to full fitness, Barkley faces increased competition for a place in Frank Lampard’s midfield.
According to The Telegraph, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is keen to sign a new midfielder and is considering a move for the 26-year-old.
The report claims that Chelsea are open to loaning out Barkley but are demanding that his £120,000-a-week salary is covered in full.
However, The Athletic report that Chelsea are open to offloading Barkley on a permanent basis if they receive an acceptable fee.
Barkley was signed from Everton in a £15 million deal in 2018 and still has three years remaining on his deal with Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Loftus-Cheek has also attracted interest from Aston Villa but Premier League rules would only allow the club to sign one player on loan from Chelsea.
The 24-year-old struggled to make an impact in the 3-1 win over Brighton last week and has failed to make Chelsea’s squad for the games against Liverpool and Barnsley.
‘I keep getting asked about the size of the squad,’ Lampard said after Chelsea’s 6-0 win on Wednesday night.
‘There might be movement, we know that, but nothing is concrete so don’t read too much into those selections at the minute.
‘It will have to be things which are right for the club and individuals and me and in terms of what happens in the next couple of weeks.’
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