Aston Villa are reportedly keen to sign on-loan midfielder Ross Barkley on a permanent deal, while star man Jack Grealish is also in line for another new contract.
Dean Smith’s side have been in superb form so far this season and are currently firmly in the mix for European qualification, with their latest win over Arsenal leaving them just five points off Liverpool in fourth.
Last season saw the newly-promoted Villans having to fight until the final day of the season to retain their Premier League status, yet this term has seen them already match last season’s points tally, despite having only played 21 games thus far.
One reason for their change in fortunes has been the instant impact of a number of their summer signings, with the likes of Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Emi Martinez, Bertrand Traore and Ross Barkley all settling in well at Villa Park, while Jack Grealish has also been at his sparkling best.
The club’s task now is to try and build upon their current good form, with 90min reporting that they are keen to make Barkley’s move a permanent deal, while they are also looking to hand Grealish a new, improved deal.
The 25-year-old only signed a new deal last summer, yet the club are keen to reward him for his excellent form this term, which has seen him bag six goals and ten assists in the league this season.
The extended contract for the Villa captain would potentially see him become one of the highest-paid English players in the top-flight and would be an attempt to try and ward off any interested parties, with Manchester United heavily linked with the player over the past year or so, while Liverpool and Man City have also been credited with having an interest.
As for Barkley, the on-loan Chelsea man has slotted in seamlessly to the Villa midfield and could well be working his way back into England contention following a difficult few years at Stamford Bridge.
With the Blues relatively well-stocked in the midfield department, Dean Smith’s side may well be able to secure a permanent move for the former Everton man with relative ease.