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Aston Villa boss Smith unsure about keeping Chelsea loanee Barkley

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith admits hanging onto on-loan Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley will be difficult.

Barkley has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury he picked up against Brighton last month but could return for tonight's clash against Burnley.

"We're going to have a look at Ross tomorrow (Wednesday) in training," Smith said earlier this week. "He's getting closer and closer, we'll have a look and see how he is."

Barkley has another three years remaining on his contract at Chelsea and there was no option to buy included in the loan deal, meaning Frank Lampard's side could demand a significant fee to let him go if Villa want to make his stay permanent at the end of the season.

Smith said previously: "It's nothing that has been talked about, our discussions were only for the end of the season."

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