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Garry Thompson: Aston Villa stay could be best for Jack Grealish

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Jack Grealish has been told sticking with Villa might prove the best option, with the club prepared to play hardball over his future.

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish

The 24-year-old has been linked with a move away from his boyhood club after enjoying the best season of his career.

But Villa are unwilling to lower their £80million valuation, in a transfer window where the impact of the coronavirus pandemic means many clubs are likely to rein in their spending.

Manchester United, who were heavily linked with Grealish earlier in the year, have since cooled their interest, while Arsenal are yet to follow up an initial enquiry. Former Villa hero Garry Thompson believes Grealish might discover staying at Villa for another year is the best thing for his career in the short-term.

He told the Express & Star: “You wouldn’t have said it a few months ago but it might turn out Jack’s options are limited.

“He’s an excellent player and there will definitely be clubs interested, though perhaps not many who will pay £80m, not when you’ve had players taking wage cuts and deferrals.

“If he leaves Villa then I really think he should be going to a top-six club. If that move isn’t there right now, maybe the best thing is to stay put and see where things are in 12 months time?”

Villa want Grealish to stay but should he leave, any funds from his sale would be added to what is already a substantial transfer pot for boss Dean Smith.

Teenage Dutch defender Sils Swinkels has become the club’s latest academy recruit.

The highly-rated 16-year-old has joined from Vitesse Arnhem as Villa continue to bolster their reserves of young talent.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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