With injuries and a lack of form hampering his attempts to make an impact with the Blues, Barkley joined Villa on a season-long loan in September 2020.
After showing some initial promise under former Villa boss Dean Smith, a hamstring injury limited the Liverpool-born midfielder to just 24 appearances in all competitions.
Barkley returned to Chelsea at the end of the season and Blues manager Thomas Tuchel expressed his surprise at the situation surrounding the midfielder.
Speaking in the aftermath of his previous loan spell at Villa Park, Tuchel said: “Normally you expect – and this is not a secret – somebody to go on loan from Chelsea to Aston Villa that he is the main guy at Aston Villa and then he comes back and takes the next steps.
“This has not happened, so maybe there is a long way to go, but you never know. He has the ability, so let’s see. It’s never too late and I will give him the support that I can. We need to wait and have patience.
“I’m sure that he himself worries a lot about the situation. ‘How can it come so far that right now I’m like in between the chairs and don’t really know where I belong and what my role is?’
Doubt remains over Barkley’s future at Stamford Bridge and he was left out of Tuchel’s squad for Saturday’s Premier League win over his former club Everton.
Journalist Simon Phillips has suggested a whole host of clubs are keen to take the midfielder on loan and offer him a fresh start this season.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said: “With Ross Barkley, he’s got a lot of other clubs interested in him at the moment so it’s not just Everton.
“He’s got Brighton, Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa and Celtic. So got plenty of options to go to.”