Gabby Agbonlahor has warned Aston Villa they face paying a huge fee for Ross Barkley if the Chelsea midfielder keeps playing the way he is.
There is no option-to-buy included in the loan agreement, meaning the ball is in Chelsea’s court when it comes to the 26-year-old’s long-term future.
Villa would love to keep Barkley if his partnerships with the likes of Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins continue to blossom but Agbonlahor believes the former Everton player’s early form could work against them.
He told Football Insider: “There’s no rush. I think at the moment they’ve got him on loan for the season, they’ll see how he does all through the season and then judge the situation at the end of the season.
“It might be something they want to make permanent at the end of the season.
“I’m sure there will be a big fee because Chelsea will value him and let’s not forget he’s a similar age to Jack Grealish and if he can keep producing his current form Chelsea will definitely want a high fee.
“Chelsea might even want to bring him back in their team. I think we’ve just got to enjoy him while he’s here and try and get the best out of him.”
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Villa defender Tyrone Mings, meanwhile, reckons Barkley is close to earning an England recall.
“Ross is a fantastic player, you know that, and he’s in fantastic form,” Mings told reporters ahead of the Three Lions’ clash against the Republic of Ireland.
“I was having a conversation with him prior to meeting up with England and he knows that the form he’s in at the moment I’m sure will earn him another call-up.
“He’s been around the setup before, he knows the manager, he knows he can pick up the phone speak to him and the manager would have spoken to him before the squad was announced.
“Of course, one day I’d love Ross to be called up and for him to be sitting next to me. Long may it continue, the form and success we’re showing at Aston Villa will only benefit the English lads that we’ve got in the squad. There’s a few more you can name as well. “