Express & Star

Christian Purslow warns any Jack Grealish suitors Aston Villa star is not for sale

Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has warned rival clubs they will be wasting their time by bidding for Jack Grealish.

Last updated

The 23-year-old shone during Villa’s late season charge to promotion, captaining his boyhood club in Monday’s play-off final win over Derby.

Grealish was the subject of serious interest from Tottenham last year and is unlikely to be without suitors this summer.

But with Villa back in the Premier League the chances of him departing appear close to zero, with Purslow in no mood to countenance any offers for a player he describes as the “heart, soul and face” of the club.

He told Radio WM: “I really don’t think we want to be a selling club. We are Aston Villa.

“Jack Grealish signed a five-year deal in my second week here last September. He is the heart and soul and face of this club.

“He is a wonderfully gifted player and I am so pleased the nation and the world will now be able to watch Jack Grealish every week.

“I have no interest in selling Jack Grealish. He will lead us into the Premier League.”

Villa’s preparations for their top flight return were today moving up a gear with talks due over the future of several out-of-contract stars.

Glenn Whelan, Mile Jedinak and Alan Hutton are among the most prominent players with deals due to expire at the end of next month.

Tommy Elphick and Albert Adomah are also expected to learn in the coming days whether they will be offered fresh terms.

Boss Dean Smith will sit down with sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch as the club begin putting in place their blueprint for life back in the top flight.

Villa had drawn up two plans dependent on the result of Monday’s play-off final with Derby.

Promotion and an estimated £170million windfall means they will now push ahead with plans to sign loan ace Tyrone Mings on a permanent deal.

Nottingham Forest’s £10million-rated forward Joe Lolley, a lifelong Villa supporter, is also a target, while they remain keen on pursuing a deal for Tammy Abraham despite the striker’s desire to force his way into Chelsea’s first-team.

Purslow insists Villa won’t repeat the mistakes of promoted clubs in the past by rushing into the market.

He said: “We had a player recruitment Plan A and Plan B for those two possible outcomes.

“But I think the hypothetical planning over the last three or four months is not quite the same as waking up with the reality of being a Premier League club.

“I am encouraging my colleagues to pause, cold towel and contemplate carefully exactly where we will make additions this summer and on the players leaving us and who those players will be.

“This is not a moment to rush, or a moment to get carried away in the euphoria.

“This is the moment when poorly run businesses and poorly run football clubs make mistakes. We do not want to do that. We are prepared. The decisions of the board, in terms of where we prioritise, we will take a little time to nail those down.”