Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor believes the club might have to spend big if they want to sign Chelsea’s Ross Barkley permanently.

The Englishman joined on loan from the Blues during the summer after falling down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

He’s since formed a great relationship with the likes of Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins.

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The trio have helped Villa to thrash Liverpool and beat Arsenal in recent matches.

That form means Barkley might now cost Villa more money than beforehand, according to Agbonlahor.

The former England man said: “There’s no rush. I think at the moment they’ve got him on loan for the season, they’ll see how he does all through the season and then judge the situation at the end of the season.

“It might be something they want to make permanent at the end of the season.

“I’m sure there will be a big fee because Chelsea will value him. Let’s not forget he’s a similar age to Jack Grealish – if he can keep on producing his current form, Chelsea will definitely want a high fee.

“Chelsea might even want to bring him back into their team. I think we’ve just got to enjoy him while he’s there and try to get the best out of him.”

Agbonlahor also spoke about the reasons for Barkley’s revival. He said: “I think he sees Aston Villa as a team where he’s going to play.

“He was quiet against Southampton but he was selected against Arsenal so he’s got the support of the manager. Even if he has an off game, he’ll still play the next game.

“I think that that’s quite important for players to know that you’ve got the backing of the manager.”

Mark Smith and Matt Stead know all about disappointments. Join them to discover that Chelsea are the only Big Six club without representation on this week’s top ten.

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