Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce wanted to sign Ross Barkley last summer before chairman Mike Ashley said that a deal could not be done, according to The Chronicle.

Barkley was deemed surplus to requirements at parent club Chelsea prior to the start of the season, and he subsequently ended up joining Aston Villa on a season-long loan. He is currently one of the top performers for the Midlands outfit, who have had an impressive start to the season so far.

Though Barkley appears to be still struggling with injuries, he is also enjoying his football again and has good chemistry with Villa captain Jack Grealish.

The report added that Bruce was told that the deal was impossible as the club had been unable to get rid of out of favour players such as Henri Saviet, Christian Atsu, Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar.

Barkley could have been a good addition to the Magpies first-team. Considering that Villa only barely avoided relegation from the Premier League last season, it is likely that Bruce’s side would have stood a serious chance had they registered their intent.

Newcastle will be looking to bolster their squad further in January but whether they are able to may ultimately depend on whether they can offload some of the squad players.

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