According to Football Insider, Aston Villa are weighing up the potential cost of signing Ross Barkley permanently for £35 million this summer.
Villa would have to break their transfer record if they want to sign the Barkley permanently, but Smith is yet to make up his mind if the 27-year-old is actually worth it.
The Villans boss is a fan of the Chelsea midfielder, but the fact that he does not have a recognised position and that the side have a better winning record when he is not on the pitch is giving him a headache.
Villa have won six out of the 14 games he has played, and he has created just four big chances all season.
Some members of the coaching staff reportedly see him as more or less a luxury player.
Barkley will have to impress Smith and deliver the goods on the pitch on a consistent basis between now and the end of the season to have a chance of moving to Villa Park on a permanent basis.
The arrival of Morgan Sanson from Marseille last month could also put the future of the former Everton star at the club in jeopardy.
The Frenchman can play as an attacking midfielder and should he prove himself within the coming weeks, Smith may decide not to splash £35m on Barkley.
Despite having Jack Grealish unavailable for weekend’s clash with Leeds United and missing his most creative player for such a big game, the manager opted to start teenager Jacob Ramsey ahead of the Chelsea loanee, and that decision speaks volumes.
Barkley will not make England’s squad to the European Championship this summer as things stand, and he now has 14 games to play for his international career and Villa future.
In other news, this Villa star has broken his silence following injury blow.