Aston Villa are eager to sign Ross Barkley on a permanent deal from Chelsea this summer, but are unlikely to be able to do so after the Blues changed their stance.
Frank Lampard and co are now said to be ready to ask for a premium fee for the midfielder.
Barkley has been impressive while on loan at Villa, having signed a season-long loan before the campaign began.
He has been out of action recently due to a hamstring injury, but had scored and provided an assist beforehand.
Villa officials have been impressed, and it seems to be no secret that they want to make his stay permanent this summer.
But Lampard has also been keeping a close eye on Barkley, and is said to have personally called him on numerous occasions to congratulate him for good performances.
And now, they have decided to keep him around at Stamford Bridge, despite their £250million spending spree last summer, according to Birmingham Live.
Barkley still has two and a half years remaining on his contract at Chelsea, which sees him take home a whopping £100,000-per-week.
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It seems Villa have to either face losing out on him or paying a significant fee in order to snatch him from Chelsea’s clutches.
Chelsea paid out £250m in the previous window, but have failed to get the best out of their big-money acquisitions.
Timo Werner and Kai Havertz have both struggled, and it seems Chelsea want to keep Barkley around for the long-term in order to provide support and competition for them.
Villa instead are set to look at Bournemouth’s David Brooks as an alternative target.
The playmaker, 23, was tipped to leave during the previous window after the Cherries’ relegation to the Championship.
He stayed put, but is still expected to depart before long after an impressive spell of form for Jason Tindall's side.
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