Aston Villa will employ dramatic cost-cutting measures this summer to try and rectify their financial situation which could result in their best asset, Jack Grealish, being sold.
After failing to gain promotion from the Championship this summer, the Midlands club have an uncertain future as their financial security was dependent on them returning to the Premier League.
Chairman Dr Tony Xia is reported to be looking for a buyer for Aston Villa, meaning a second takeover in two years looks on the cards and there could be a lot of high-profile exits to make up the financial deficit caused by Xia’s risky strategy.
The Villans have been trimming the wage budget, letting Gabriel Agbonlahor and Chris Samba’s contracts expire without a renewal being considered and Grealish could follow them through the exit door.
Tottenham and Liverpool interested in Grealish
The creative attacking-midfielder has an asking price of £40m this summer. Tottenham are believed to be negotiating for half the fee, while Liverpool could lodge a bid greater than Spurs to land Grealish’s signature.
There’s no question of the 22-year-old staying at Villa Park. He’s open to joining a big club that can offer Premier League and Champions League football and Villa desperately need the money.
Grealish made 110 appearances in all competitions for Villa and become a fan favourite last season after setting the Championship alight. He would be a good signing for a manager looking to develop young talent and a move will boost his chances of getting in the England national team in the future.
Grealish departure could have damaging knock-on effect
If other players see that Villa are actively selling their best talents, they could also seek to leave this summer. Promotion looks a distant dream in 2018/19 if the likes of Grealish are allowed to leave, and players such as James Chester, Henri Lansbury, Conor Hourihane, Albert Adomah and Jonathan Kodjia could follow.
Clubs will target Villa’s stars, knowing they can sign them at a cut price due to the seriousness of their financial situation. Players will be open to a move as the club aren’t likely to move forwards next season and the task of merely consolidating in the Championship becomes the sole focus.
There won’t be any investment in the club this summer while Xia remains the owner. Instead a summer exodus looks on the cards and players from the youth teams being prematurely promoted to take their place. Grealish is almost certainly leaving and he won’t be the only one.
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