Ross Barkley has impressed on loan Aston Villa this season, so much so that the Villans want to make his move permanent at the earliest available opportunity.

However, Birmingham Live reported that Dean Smith may struggle to land the 27-year-old’s signature as Chelsea iterated that they aren’t going to let him leave on the cheap.

Barkley has scored two goals and supplied one assist in six games for Villa, creating 15 chances, completing 11 successful dribbles and taking 17 shots this season (WhoScored). The England international is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury but is on the recovery trail, having returned to training in recent weeks.

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It’s easy to see why Smith wants to sign Barkley permanently, but Chelsea have no desire to grant him a departure for less than his asking price, which may be around £30m. The 27-year-old is on loan at Villa Park until this summer but has two-and-a-half years on his deal with Chelsea.

The Blues have no obligation to accept less than their asking price for Barkley, so Villa might have to put up a lot of money to prise him away from Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis. Time will tell whether they can break Chelsea down in the coming months or will have to turn their attention to another creative midfielder.