With Villa having just six games now to save our skin after a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves, the transfer rumour mill is ramping up when it comes to Jack Grealish.
Grealish huffed and puffed against Wolves, with the highlights including an attempt on goal in the first half, almost providing an assist for Hourihane as well as a neat volleyed effort in the second period.
That aside, our star man drifted in and out of a game he struggled to influence. Indeed, there have been too many games where he’s had little in the way of support from inferior team-mates and an over-reliance upon him in general this season.
The latest news is perhaps of little surprise, but underlines that irrelevant of Villa’s outcome this season, Grealish looks increasingly likely to be off.
Villa are facing the prospect of either having to make wholesale changes should relegation occur or revisit a squad that looks barely fit for purpose in the event we do avoid the drop.
Manchester United are reported to be readying a bid in the region of £80m – an eye watering figure if accurate.
This is becoming an on-going transfer saga with a seemingly inevitable outcome, something we wrote on recently.
To add further fuel to this fire is a story today that reveals Grealish is making strides to purchase a property in the Manchester area:
If there is one positive aspect it appears that Villa have some protection in terms of fee, regardless of whether we get relegated. Grealish has three years remaining on his deal, which appears to include significant protection in terms of release fee. Anything in the region of £80m is remarkable for any footballer, let alone Grealish.
Equally, Manchester United are is desperate need to refresh and rejuvenate their squad and brand, having seen Liverpool and Manchester City now surpass them on the field.
Leicester City also seem to have acquired a formula for staying towards the top end of the division. United also remain under unexpected pressure from relative small-fry sides like Wolves in competing for the remaining Champions League places.
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In short they need to strengthen and Grealish represents an obvious player who could both compliment what they do have and indeed improve them.
From a Villa perspective, aside from any fee, this would obviously represent a significant loss of our marquee player.
Quite who and how we might replace Grealish with will require some serious thought, with the calibre of attracting talent contingent upon what division we find ourself in next season.
Given that Jack graduated through Villa’s academy system and with the lack of obvious talent emerging that’s first team ready, that also underlines another problem we have to face up to.
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