Aston Villa’s financial problems reared their ugly head after missing out on promotion to the Premier League last year in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Fulham at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.
Missing out on the riches that the ever-increasing television rights fees have provided England’s top flight looked set to leave Villa desperate for cash and as a result willing to sell some of their best players.
Captain John Terry left the club, removing his extortionate salary from the wage bill but the only other senior players to depart where left-back Jordan Amavi and goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini who simply made their respective loan moves to Marseille and Atalanta permanent.
One of the most highly speculated departures was that of Jack Grealish, Villa’s homegrown crown jewel and, after a potential move to Leicester City failed to materialise with the 2016 Premier League Champions opting to sign Norwich City wonderkid James Maddison instead for £25 million, Tottenham Hotspur have emerged as the front-runners for the 22-year-old’s signature.
Jack Grealish set for move?
Aston Villa do now have new majority owners in Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens so they are likely not as desperate to sell players as they were at the start of the window.
However, Steve Bruce’s side have only made the one signing themselves, getting Portuguese goalkeeper Andre Moreira on a season-long loan deal from Atletico Madrid so they may very well need some money to go out and sign new players.
As a result, Grealish joining Spurs is “still a real possibility” if the club can convince him that a move to north London is the best place for the youngster to develop his undoubted talent.
Considering manager Mauricio Pochettino’s recent record at the club with young English players like Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier, who have all earned international honours under Pochettino’s tutelage, convincing Grealish that Spurs is the right move to him seems like it would be an easy task.
The issue remains whether or not owner Daniel Levy wants to open his checkbook and pay the £20-30 million fee that Villa would demand for their talisman.