Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says that ‘it’s going to cost an awful lot of money’ to sign club captain Jack Grealish this summer.
Villa narrowly avoided relegation on the last day of the season yesterday, with Grealish the hero of the hour after scoring an 84th minute goal that won the battling side the deciding point that sent Watford down in their place.
And asked after the game whether Grealish would be leaving the club, Smith was defiant.
‘I’ve got no idea. I’ll get drunk with him and his contract has got another three or four years on it,’ he told The Telegraph.
‘We’ve got billionaire owners and if people want him, then he’s going to cost an awful lot of money.’
‘He goes out and gets drunk with me, that’s what happens now. Tomorrow I will sit down with the owners and the chief executive.’
It has previously been reported that Villa could demand around £80 million for the 24-year-old, which is around double the amount that United would expect to pay for the player.
His market value according to Transfermarkt is just £27.7 million.
Some of Grealish’s off-field antics might also make Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer think twice, including an alleged drunk driving incident during lockdown that saw the Villa man photographed having a fracas with disgruntled Solihull residents while wearing an odd pair of slippers.
Of course, Smith’s words came during the euphoria of avoiding relegation and no doubt after a few glasses of champagne, but if true, then the Red Devils may have to look elsewhere as the transfer window opens today.