Steve Howey would welcome the addition of Ross Barkley on loan to Newcastle but has questioned whether his former side would be able to afford the England midfielder’s wages.
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He scored three times and assisted once in 26 Premier League appearances for Villa, but following a blistering start, fell away and ended his loan spell battling for a starting place under Dean Smith.
Barkley, who was once called first class by ex-Blues boss Frank Lampard, is still contracted to Chelsea and has more than two years remaining on his deal but is more than likely to be loaned out again unless he impresses Thomas Tuchel in pre-season.
The Athletic have already reported that Newcastle and Steve Bruce would be interested in a loan deal for Barkley, and Howey exclusively told This Is Futbol that his former side could give the midfielder’s career a lifeline.
“He was the man at Everton and went to Chelsea and it didn’t work. Starting off at Aston Villa, his and Grealish’s link-up was going well and petered out a little bit.
“I don’t know how long his contract is at Chelsea, but he will not be on bad money. It’s just whether Chelsea will be willing to pay some of his wage for him to leave and for Newcastle to take him on, on a decent wage, but not the wage he’s on now.”