Aston Villa would reportedly have to fork out a hefty sum of money to sign Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley on a permanent deal.
The former Everton man joined Villa on loan in the summer and impressed for the West Midlands outfit before sustaining a hamstring injury back in November.
Following his bright start to life for Dean Smith's European-chasing pack, rumours of a permanent deal for the 27-year-old at Villa Park have begun to emerge after an underwhelming time at Chelsea so far.
However, Birmingham Live reports that if the Blues did decide to offload Barkley permanently, they would not allow him to leave on the cheap given his wage and contractual situation.
Barkley is tied down to Chelsea until 2023 and is understood to be pocketing £100k per week in the English capital, and the report claims that Villa could instead swoop for Bournemouth's David Brooks if a move for Barkley does not come to fruition.
The England international boasts two goals and one assist for Villa in the current campaign and could be back for Wednesday's visit of Tottenham Hotspur, although the fixture is shrouded in uncertainty due to the Villans' recent coronavirus outbreak.