It is reaching the point where something has to give in a transfer saga which hasn’t really moved on all that much since the early weeks of the summer, when it became apparent Manchester City were serious suitors for the Villa captain.
That perhaps isn’t too much of a surprise considering Grealish’s focus was fully on England’s Euro 2020 campaign. Ever since the final defeat to Italy he has been on holiday.
Yet now he is due back at Bodymoor Heath ahead of the most important conversations of his career to date.
Villa’s stance has long been clear. Grealish is their best player and they are willing to underline his significance to the club by handing him a new contract on significantly-improved terms, less than a year after giving him his current one.
That Villa will do everything in their power to keep Grealish is not in question. The more important, as yet unknown variables are the 25-year-old’s mindset and the extent of City’s desire to take him to the Etihad.
Much as Grealish has a strong connection with Villa, he is first and foremost an ambitious player who has made no secret of his desire to play in the Champions League.
Then again, Villa have serious intentions of gracing that stage themselves in the near future, with Grealish preferably playing the leading role. This summer with England he got a taste of what it is like to be just another cast member. There are rumours it may have prompted a rethink.
And City, for all their interest, will at some point soon actually have to make a bid. If Grealish’s contract really does have a £100million release clause, as some claim, it will have a deadline. Whether the champions are willing to pay that amount is, of course, unclear.
Put the emotion to one side and there is no disputing Villa are in a strong position. Even should they lose Grealish this summer they will do so for a colossal fee which will be reinvested in the squad.
By far the worst-case scenario would be for the uncertainty to drag on into the final weeks or days of the window and for that reason is reasonable to expect a resolution, either way, relatively soon.