HUGE LOST: Aston Villa Have lost $250m Signing Budget

Aston Villa are confident they can quickly finalise a deal to sign Ross Barkley from relegated Luton Town despite interest from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle and Manchester United.

Three years after the England international brought an end to a rather hit-and-miss loan spell in the Midlands, Aston Villa look set to hand Ross Barkley the chance to pick up where he left off in claret and blue.

HITC understands that the midfielder – a man reborn even during a Luton Town campaign which ended in heartbreak – has played his way onto the radars of Manchester United, Tottenham and Newcastle.

There is also interest from Bournemouth, Wolves and a Brighton and Hove Albion outfit who have a track record of offering opportunities to ageing, former Three Lions stalwarts such as James Milner, Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana.

HITC have been told, however, that Aston Villa are now progressing in talks over a deal that would bring Barkley back to familiar surroundings.

Villa are confident that a deal can be completed sooner rather than later, meanwhile, after moving to the front of the queue.

Ross Barkley of Luton Town celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Luton Town at...

Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Aston Villa close in on Ross Barkley return

Barkley is understood to have one year left on his Luton contract. The Hatters also retain a 12-month extension clause.

However, due to a mechanism in the deal he signed when leaving OGC Nice in 2023, Barkley can now depart Kenilworth Road for a fee well below market value after Luton’s relegation was confirmed on Sunday.

Turning 30 in December, Barkley has benefitted immensely from playing a leading role at a club where the pressure was not quite as fierce. One of the most naturally talented Englishmen of his generation is a more mature, experienced player than the one which struggled for consistency at Chelsea, bringing rare technical quality to a rather workmanlike Luton side.

“He’s playing at a fantastic level,” Barkley’s former Chelsea team-mate Cesc Fabregas told the BBC’s Planet Premier League podcast. “I’m very happy for him because he lost his way a little bit. He lost his confidence and now he’s back at it.

“He took maybe two steps backward to be able to perform again at the level that that he knows he can. You always need a player like this.

“And he’s surrounded by good players but solid players defensively, so he can also have this license to go forward as we see. Now, as a number six, physically he’s a machine.”

Luton Town’s relegation means exit is likely

Fellow veteran Andros Townsend even went as far as to liken Barkley to the legendary Diego Maradona after an ‘absolutely incredible’ assist against Manchester City in December (TalkSPORT).

Barkley did has his moments during that 2020/21 spell at Aston Villa. He was terrific in the 3-0 win away at Arsenal early that season, and also scored in that madcap 7-2 hammering of

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