Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce must avoid making a move for Chelsea’s Ross Barkley this summer, despite Gabby Agbonlahor’s transfer claim.
Reports in recent days and weeks have suggested that the Magpies would be interested in landing the England international in the transfer window, and Agbonlahor has now insisted that it could be the “perfect move” for Barkley.
The 34-year-old told Football Insider: “I think it would be a good fit. Steve Bruce would get the best out of him. Ross Barkley needs to go somewhere now, he’s at a crossroads in his career, he’s 28. He needs to go somewhere and have a really good season, not just a few months like he did at Villa.
“It could be the perfect move for him to go play week in, week out.”
Earning a reported £100,000 per week, Barkley just endured a shocking season while on loan at Aston Villa, managing just three goals and one assist in the Premier League – indeed, he had a shocking second half of the season in particular, with no goals in the top flight since the end of January when he netted in a 1-0 victory over Southampton.
Speaking on The Athletic’s Aston Villa-themed 1874 podcast, journalist Gregg Evans said: “He doesn’t do enough for me now. I’ve seen enough of Ross Barkley now to realise that he’s becoming a bit of a liability for Villa. He’s not helping out enough as he should, really. Whether that’s impacting on John McGinn, I don’t know.”
A move for an injury-prone Barkley, on massive wages, could be a total and utter disaster for Newcastle, and it would take Mike Ashley’s reputation at St James’ Park even lower were he to sanction such a move.
Magpies fans would likely be absolutely fuming if a move for Barkley was made by the club instead of trying to prioritise a permanent deal for another English midfielder in Joe Willock, who excelled on loan at St James’ Park in recent months.