Danny Drinkwater will return to Chelsea when his Burnley loan deal expires on January 6, Sean Dyche has confirmed.
The midfielder joined the Clarets on loan on Deadline Day in August but has made just two appearances for the club.
His time at Turf Moor has been marred by an ankle injury he suffered in September when he was attacked by a gang of men outside a Manchester nightclub.
With Dyche deciding against extending Drinkwater's spell with Burnley, it is understood Aston Villa may make a move to take him to the Midlands for the second half of the season.
Dean Smith is keen to bring in midfield cover with John McGinn likely to be out until March with his own ankle injury and he is believed to see Drinkwater as a good option in that area.
He appears to be surplus to requirements at Chelsea, having played just once for the club since March 2018.
How to follow the January transfer window
Sky Sports will bring you the very latest news from the January transfer market with the return of three shows.
Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day's news with The Transfer Show.
The Transfer Talk podcast will also be back with more expert analysis from here and across the continent.
And as well as tuning into Sky Sports News, don't miss a thing with our Transfer Centre blog.