Exclusive – Aston Villa are ready to sanction ambitious spending that would see talisman Jack Grealish sign a new contract to become one of the Premier League’s highest paid English players, while also trying to get Ross Barkley on a permanent contract with Chelsea .
Grealish and Barkley’s form this season is one of the main reasons Villa is in contention for a European place, compared to last season when the club only avoided relegation on the final day.
Grealish has always played for this struggling Villa side in 2019/20 and has sparked interest from Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea, with new ties to Liverpool and Manchester City.
The 25-year-old only signed a new deal worth £ 120,000 a week last summer, but he remains on the radar of all clubs that previously watched him, even though his value has climbed in boom in recent months and that it would cost a huge transfer fee.
Furthermore, Villa is keen to show their own willingness to progress like a club and sources have said 90 mins that owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens want to make Grealish unsaleable by giving her a new offer worth over £ 200,000 a week – one that would engage her long-term future for her childhood.
Villa will hope their plans to land Barkley on a permanent deal will also show Grealish the club’s ambition. The loaned Chelsea midfielder has returned to his best form since arriving in September and, as “number 10”, has developed a great relationship on the pitch with the local hero.
90 mins previously reported in November that Barkey’s form with Villa was impressive and then Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who let the 27-year-old know that there would be a future for him at Stamford Bridge if he continued to play well.
Lampard is clearly no longer in charge of Chelsea following his dismissal at the end of January and it is not yet known whether new boss Thomas Tuchel sees a future at the club for Barkley.
If Villa wants to seal a permanent move for Barkley, 90 mins understands that Chelsea will ask for fees in the order of £ 40million. That would mean Villa would break their existing transfer record, which stands at £ 28million plus the add-ons deal to sign Ollie Watkins last summer.
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