Aston Villa ready to show intent with big-money deals for star duo

Dave Tindall

Aston Villa are ready to build on their strong position in the Premier League by offering big contracts to midfield stars Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley.

The duo are a big reason why Villa are flying high in the top flight this season.

Dean Smith’s side produced another resolute performance to beat Arsenal 1-0 at Villa Park on Saturday.

That lifted them to eighth place with 35 points from 21 games. It means they’re just five points behind fourth-placed Liverpool and have a game in hand.

Grealish’s displays helped Villa narrowly avoid the drop last season. But this term the England man has taken his game to greater heights.

There has been plenty of interest in him in previous transfer windows. Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea were sniffing. And there were links to Liverpool and Manchester City too.

Villa staved off that interest by rewarding Grealish with a £120,000 per week deal last summer.

Aston Villa deserved Arsenal victory

Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith says his side's performance was the 'polar opposite' to their defeat on Wednesday, as they won 1-0 against Arsenal at Villa Park.

But given the 25-year-old’s progress, the club know that interest from the top clubs won’t go away.

Therefore, 90min are now claiming that Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens want to offer Grealish a new deal worth over £200,000 per week. They hope that would really secure his long-term future.

Villa want Barkley grow relationship with Grealish

Ross Barkley TEAMtalk

Barkley is currently on loan from Chelsea. But after failing to earn a regular place at the Blues, he’s thrived at Villa since arriving in September.

It’s believed that impressive form had caught Frank Lampard’s eye. And the then Chelsea boss was considering recalling the 27-year-old.

However, Lampard’s exit could allow Villa to make a move as new Stamford Bridge coach Tomas Tuchel has yet to reveal what he thinks of Barkley.

Grealish and Barkley have developed an excellent understanding on the pitch this season.

Looking at the stats, Grealish has scored six goals and contributed 10 assists in his 21 Premier League games this term.

Barkley missed a chunk of the season with injury. He’s netted three times in his 14 Premier League games.

As for a valuation on Barkley, 90min believe Chelsea would ask for something in the region of £40m.

That would break their current transfer record – the £28m they paid for Ollie Watkins last summer.