Aston Villa see Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes as a primary transfer target during the summer transfer window, according to a new report.
Is Barnes likely to leave Leicester?
The Foxes have had a hugely disappointing season by their recent standards, considering they only won the FA Cup two years ago, and were also pushing for a top-four finish at the same time. They look highly likely to be relegated from the Premier League this weekend, with only victory at home to West Ham, coupled with Everton failing to win against Bournemouth at Goodison Park, preventing that.
Should Leicester head back down to the Championship, there is likely to be an exodus of high-profile players, with the likes of James Maddison and Youri Tielemans both almost certain to move on. Barnes is another who would be expected to leave, with the £40,000-a-week attacker scoring 12 goals in 33 league appearances this season.
The 25-year-old’s current deal at the King Power Stadium expires in the summer of 2025, but he surely won’t be happy heading to the Championship at this point in his career. Villa have been linked with a move for him recently and now a new claim has emerged.
Is Barnes a summer target for Villa?
According to The Express & Star, Barnes is “one of Villa’s top winger targets heading into the summer transfer window”. He is “admired by sporting director Johan Lange and a deal could become particularly attractive should the Foxes be relegated from the Premier League”. Athletic Bilbao’s Nico Williams is also mentioned as a potential option.
The Englishman could be a really astute signing by the Villans in the coming weeks and months, having been hailed as “unbelievable” by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in the past. He is now a proven Premier League player, racking up 34 goals and 25 assists in the competition, and he is also someone with one cap to his name for England.
Barnes, who shares the same agency as Tyrone Mings, could provide extra direct running and end product in wide areas at Villa next season, challenging the likes of Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey for playing time.
Granted, he may not be able to join on the cheap, given his current contract situation, but he could excel under Unai Emery and his prime years could still be ahead of him, meaning his top level may well be displayed at Villa Park in the future.