Young Barcelona forward Louie Barry is close to sealing a return to England and join Premier League side Aston Villa in a deal thought to be around £3 million.
Sky Sports have revealed that Louie Barry is set to return to England after a brief spell at Barcelona. The young forward, who joined the Catalans after attracting interest from several European bigwigs on a free transfer from West Bromwich Albion, is closing in on a £3 million deal to join Premier League outfit Aston Villa.
While Sky Sports have not iterated a transfer fee, Daily Mail and other British publications have touted to the number being around the £3 million mark. The contentious point, though, is the fact that West Brom are still owed the compensation a club receives when an Under-18 player is poached/transfers to another club.
Louie Barry rejected several high-profile offers en route to Barcelona, who signed him on a free transfer. The tribunal though, had ordered Barcelona to pay West Brom the standard fee of £130,000 fixed by FIFA in relation to the international transfer of an Under-18 player.
16-year-old Barry is hailed as one of the best English players in and around his age and is considered to be a truly generational talent. The forward, though, has become disillusioned to life at Barcelona after a series of personnel changes that have led to uncertainty and lack of chances in the youth team as of now.
Among his notable appearances are the three times he has featured for Barcelona in the UEFA Youth League, grabbing a sole assist in an accumulated game time of 59 minutes over the three appearances.
The Daily Mail report states that there is widespread interest in Barry but that Aston Villa are the outright favourites to land the 16-year-old right now. Aston Villa returned to the Premier League in the 2019-20 season and recruited heavily in the summer transfer window.
Barcelona and England forward Louie Barry close to joining Aston Villa, his hometown club, just six after moving to Camp Nou. Villa’s bid has gone in, now a case of thrashing out the final details https://t.co/5y0mg2pzEa
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) January 7, 2020
Almost all of the arrivals have been a regular part of the first-team setup at Aston Villa, who have further strengthened the midfield by bringing in Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea on a loan deal for the remainder of the season.
As far as the forward line is concerned, Wesley and Keinan Davis are young yet quality options, with Jonathan Kodija also featuring many times for Aston Villa.
Louie Barry would be more of a one-for-the-future signing. But, given the plaudits that the 16-year-old has earned so far, it wouldn’t take the former West Brom star much time to ebb the barrier between himself and the first-team setup.
A return to England might just be the move Louie Barry needs to start playing regularly again, especially at a time when more and more English clubs are welcoming the idea of giving youngsters first-team opportunities.