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Newcastle transfer funds clear as they could rival Aston Villa for summer target

Ross Barkley has been linked with a January move to Newcastle United as the former Aston Villa loan midfielder looks to get his career back on track.

Barkley spent last season on loan at Villa Park and had an indifferent campaign.

After a bright start to life under then manager Dean Smith, Barkley’s season was blighted by injury and put in underwhelming performances thereafter.

As a result, Villa decided against approaching Chelsea about making the move permanent.

Barkley has made just eight appearances for the Blues this season, with his last coming against Burnley back on November 6, and does not appear to be in Thomas Tuchel’s long-term plans.

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And he could be on the move as soon as January, with money-laden Newcastle looking to splash the cash in a bid to avoid relegation to Championship.

The Telegraph is reporting that Barkley is among the names being discussed by the Saudi-backed Magpies.

Another player mentioned is out-of-favour Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks, who was linked with Villa in the summer.

A move didn’t materialise then, but Smith was said to remain keen on Winks just prior to his sacking.

Newcastle are also reportedly interested in Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, Liverpool’s Nat Phillips, Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier.

Lingard looks set to leave Old Trafford due to a lack of game time while Tarkowski is approaching the end of his contract.

Of the players mentioned, who should Villa try and sign in January? Have your say in the comments section…

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