Villa eyeing Chelsea raid, but stern Lampard demand set to scupper deal

Ross Barkley, Frank Lampard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith wants to sign either Ross Barkley or Chelsea teammate Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan, according to a report.

Villa have already spent to bring in four major signings this transfer window. Forwards Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore have arrived, as have Emiliano Martinez and Matty Cash.

Smith hopes Watkins and Traore will provide significant firepower, after last season’s struggle for goals. Martinez, meanwhile, is Villa’s long-term solution between the sticks.

However, the Daily Telegraph claims Smith has not finished there. The Villa head coach reportedly wants to round off the transfer window by bringing in a new No 8 on loan.

Barkley and Loftus-Cheek are his top targets, but Premier League rules mean he can only sign one of the players.

Should Villa move for Barkley, Chelsea have demanded that interested clubs pay the England international‘s £120,000 salary. However, Villa are “reluctant” to agree, meaning the deal could be off the cards.

Barkley has appeared on the substitutes’ bench in Chelsea’s two Premier League games so far this season. However, he starred in Wednesday’s 6-0 win over Barnsley, notching his side’s third goal.

Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, started the Blues’ 3-1 win over Brighton but has not featured in either squad since.

Rudiger also mooted for a Chelsea exit

Antonio Rudiger Chelsea

Centre-back Antonio Rudiger also missed out in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup triumph. However, manager Frank Lampard has played down the situation.

He said after the match: “That he (Rudiger) was not in the squad, that’s just a choice at the moment; with the centre-halves I have I can’t have them all in the squad.

“Yes, there may be movement in the squad, we know that, but nothing is concrete so don’t read too much into those selections at the minute.

“It will have to be things that are right for the club, the individual and me, in terms of what happens in the next couple of weeks.”

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