Dean Smith admitted there had been no discussions with Chelsea about turning Ross Barkley’s love move to Aston Villa permanent.

Dean Smith admitted there had been no discussions with Chelsea about turning Ross Barkley’s love move to Aston Villa permanent.

Speaking in his post-match press conference to the Birmingham Mail, after Villa’s Premier League defeat to Manchester City last night, Smith was quizzed whether contact had been made about Barkley’s future.

FBL-ENG-PR-ASTON VILLA-WOLVES
Aston Villa’s English head coach Dean Smith (L) speaks to Aston Villa’s English midfielder Ross Barkley at half time during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on March 6, 2021. (Photo by PETER CZIBORRA / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PETER CZIBORRA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

He said: “No, Ross Barkley came in on loan at the start of the season. Obviously, Frank (Lampard) was the manager at the time we did a deal to bring him in on loan.

“That’s where it was. He’s got another two years left on his contract at Chelsea and that’s not been discussed at all.”

Barkley joined Smith’s side last September on a season-long loan away from Stamford Bridge

Life started very brightly in claret and blue for the 27-year-old, scoring in his first two league games.

But a hamstring injury suffered in late November hindered his progress and he hasn’t looked the same player since recovery.

Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 21: Ross Barkley of Aston Villa leaves the pitch with an injury during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on November 21, 2020 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Rui Vieira –

At one stage, it seemed Villa would snap Chelsea’s hand off to sign Barkley indefinitely.

That now seems a fading possibility, especially with the campaign rapidly coming to a close.

Unless there is a miraculous turnaround in fortunes, the England midfield is destined to join up with Thomas Tuchel’s team for pre-season.

Except if another club comes in for Barkley before he returns to Cobham.

Aston Villa v Manchester City - Premier League
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – APRIL 21: Ross Barkley of Aston Villa looks on during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Villa Park on April 21, 2021 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

TEAMtalk reported that West Ham United manager David Moyes was a fan of the Chelsea outcast and would be interested in moving him across London.

Moyes gave Barkley his first-team debut at Everton, so their relationship is already pretty firm.

The rejuvenation of Jesse Lingard at West Ham should be an example to all out of sync players that form is only temporary.

Plenty of tinkering will likely be done to Tuchel’s side over the summer and Barkley may well be another spare part again.

Manchester City v Chelsea: Emirates FA Cup Semi Final
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 17: Thomas Tuchel, Manager of Chelsea looks on following the Semi Final of the Emirates FA Cup match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on April 17, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

Being a tool for the Hammers could be handy, particularly if they qualify for Europe.

Chelsea will hope to end those dreams when they take on West Ham this Saturday.

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