Newcastle United ‘hold an interest’ in Chelsea’s Ross Barkley and the deal may not be contingent on their pursuit of Joe Willock.
That’s according to Chris Waugh, the club’s correspondent for The Athletic.
Barkley spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Aston Villa, scoring three goals and providing one assist in 18 Premier League starts (via WhoScored). The Englishman averaged 1.6 key passes per game for Dean Smith’s side, beating every Newcastle player in that department.
The 33-cap ace has two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge and is valued at £18m by Transfermarkt. Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard described Barkley’s attitude as ‘first class’ and said that he was able to fulfil a ‘very complete role’.
The Athletic claimed that Newcastle have identified the 27-year-old as a possible target, but ‘not solely as a back-up’ if they miss out on former loanee Willock. The Magpies want to bring the Arsenal man back to St James’ Park but they are waiting to see whether Mikel Arteta will sanction the move.
It’s ‘likely’ that only one ‘advanced’ midfield option will be recruited, but ‘additional reinforcements would be welcomed’
Barkley is probably one for Newcastle to avoid. He made a flying start at Villa last season, looking briefly like the player who was so impressive at Everton.
However, his performance levels dipped as the campaign progressed, and he fell well short of the stated goal of breaking back into the England squad.
Ultimately, there must be more potent and reliable midfield options out there who they could bring in.
In other news, Newcastle are also keen on one of Willock’s team-mates.
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