By Amir Mir
Aston Villa are keeping close tabs on Burnley striker Ashley Barnes, according to a report.
The Mirror claim in their transfer blog on Saturday morning that Steve Bruce is looking at the Premier League forward as a potential back-up option.
But it is said that the 27-year-old is currently happy at Turf Moor because he is starting for Sean Dyche’s side.
Barnes has played 13 games in all competitions for Burnley this season, scoring three goals, but he did miss ten matches at the start of the campaign through injury.
Nonetheless, he has started six of those matches, five of which have come in his last five league games, scoring two goals and supplying one assist.
Villa’s current senior strike force consists of Ross McCormack and Gabby Agbonlahor, who have failed to score since the turn of the year.
Another Premier League striker Villa have been trying to purchase is Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes, but it is claimed that the Midlands side needs to offload either McCormack or Jordan Ayew to pay £10million for the out-of-favour Scotsman.
Football Insider verdict:
Barnes is not the type of striker that Bruce should be targeting for Villa’s promotion push this season. The Burnley man is more of a target man and a player the Championship side don’t need considering they sold Rudy Gestede this month to Middlesbrough. Villa need more pace up front and somebody who can get in behind the defenders after their purchase of Nottingham Forest playmaker Henri Lansbury. He will provide the forward passes for the team which will suit a more quicker player in the team, rather than a static one that prefers crosses into the box. Additionally, considering Barnes is now being utilised on a regular basis by Dyche, the club will no doubt want a big fee for their player so that in itself should put off Villa.
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