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Aston Villa won’t look to sign Ross Barkley on a permanent basis after he failed to step up in the absence of Jack Grealish.

That’s the opinion of former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Barkley’s future.

This week, Dean Smith was asked if a potential deal for Barkley had been discussed and he is quoted by Birmingham Live as saying, “He’s got another two years left on his contract at Chelsea and that’s not been discussed at all.”

Barkley, 27, joined Villa last summer in a season-long loan move from Chelsea costing an enormous £11million fee and he got off to a flying start at his new club.

However, after picking up a hamstring injury and missing the festive period, he has failed to impress, picking up just one goal in his last 14 Premier League outings.

Football Insider revealed last month how Smith had not been convinced that Barkley is worth the £35million fee Chelsea want for him this summer.

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Whelan claims the absence of the injured Grealish has exposed Barkley and he hasn’t stepped up to the plate to replace him.

When asked if he thinks Villa will make an offer for Barkley in the summer, Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, “No, I don’t think so. He’s not made the most of his opportunity at Aston Villa. 

“He started off well and had a great relationship with Grealish. Since Grealish has been out he’s not really stepped up his game and took leadership in those areas. 

“To be that number 10, to be that player. It’s a wasted opportunity for him because I really think it could have worked if he’d have brought his best football. 

“He really hasn’t and that’s the disappointing thing because Aston Villa is a great fit for him with the players they have and the attacking players he will be surrounded by. 

“He’s not stepped up to the mark.”

Barkley had two goals in four games at the start of his Villa career with his first coming in the shock 7-2 win over Liverpool.

Barkley’s future will be up in the air if Villa don’t make a move to sign him permanently as Frank Lampard, the manager who loaned him out, is no longer at Chelsea.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to sign new full-back amid major Matt Targett news.