The Express and Star‘s Matt Maher has dropped an update on Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish before England’s quarter-final clash against Ukraine at Euro 2020 tonight.
In what promises to be one of the big transfer stories of the summer window, the 25-year-old has been linked with a big-money move to Premier League champions Manchester City, with reports even suggesting that he was nearing a transfer to the Etihad Stadium.
However, Maher has poured cold water over such speculation, instead insisting that Villa are actually in the best position they have ever been in terms of potentially keeping Grealish at Villa Park.
He reported: “Where Grealish is concerned, Villa are probably in the strongest position they have ever been. In previous years, there was a genuine risk of losing him for well below his market value had they gone into administration (2018), failed to win promotion (2019) or been relegated (2020). Instead, Villa are now considered among the Premier League’s most upwardly-mobile clubs, while Grealish is contracted for the next four years.
“Whatever the next few weeks might bring, there is a sense Villa really cannot lose. Either Grealish stays, or he departs for a colossal fee which would then be reinvested in the playing squad to mitigate his departure.
“Of course, the former option is very much the preference for Villa’s billionaire owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, which is why they are ready to offer their captain another significant pay rise less than a year after the last one. It is their wealth which puts Villa in the enviable position to reject, should they wish, any offers which come their way, no matter how high the figures might climb.”
With England’s quarter-final against Ukraine looming on the horizon tonight, Maher’s update on Grealish and where things stand right now, and the position of strength he believes Villa hold over the playmaker, is sure to have the club’s fans buzzing.
Make no mistake about it, losing a player of the 25-year-old’s quality would be a hammer blow, especially for a team looking to take that next step and get into Europe over the coming years – his tally of seven goals and 12 assists in an injury-hit 2020/21 season is testament to just how good he is.
Therefore, the news that NSWE are preparing to offer Grealish a new contract and a bumper pay rise, instead of looking to cash in on him, must be exciting news for Villa fans and should have them on cloud nine.