Villa re-signing former Blue could trigger Belgian midfielder's move to Everton

With reports today that Aston Villa are close to re-signing Ross Barkley, such a deal could pave the way for the Midlands club to let Leander Dendoncker join the Blues.
Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League
Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Dendoncker has been away on loan from Aston Villa at Napoli in Serie A but the Italian club are not ready to turn his loan into a permanent move so he might be available for transfer this summer.

Meanwhile, Villa are closing in on re-signing former Everton star Ross Barkley who previously played for the Midlands club.

Barkley going back to Villa might then open the door for the Toffees to sign Dendoncker, that at least is the view of Football Insider who claim the Blues have expressed interest in the Belgian.

This is obviously another early summer transfer rumour and at this stage we have no idea whether there is any substance to it of course.

At the moment Everton already have a Belgian international central midfielder on their books in Amadou Onana, but it does appear very likely he will leave Merseyside this summer.

And while the Toffees have activated the one-year extension on Idrissa Gueye's current contract, the Senegal international is 34 and so surely cannot be relied upon to continue performing as well as he has for much longer.

Dendoncker has some similar qualities and looks as though he could play in a deep-lying defensive midfield position, while perhaps offering greater passing range and creativity than Gueye.

The Belgian is also very experienced in the Premier League and international football, and is versatile too being able to play at centre-back as well as further up-field in a more orthodox midfield role.

As I have mentioned several times, I think such versatility will be a factor in Everton's summer recruitment, especially given the limitations in financial resources and the fact a number of existing players could leave the club, meaning an already small first-team squad will be even more depleted.

According to Dendoncker is valued at around £7 million (well down from his highest estimated value of around £30 million) making him very affordable in today's market.

Weighing all this up, he looks like a player who might fit in with how Sean Dyche likes his sides to play and so this transfer could make some sense.

If, as it appears, Villa re-sign Barkley and are also keen to offload players surplus to requirements to ensure they do not fall foul of the PSR - which has done the Toffees so much harm this past season - then they will probably accept a lower bid than otherwise would be the case.