Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has issued a warning that Jack Grealish will not leave the club on the cheap if they fail to gain promotion back to the Premier League.
Villa take on Derby County on Monday afternoon in the Championship play-off final with Grealish expected to lead out the club he supported as a boy at Wembley Stadium.
Grealish was heavily linked with a move to Spurs last summer with Daniel Levy delaying a £25million offer until the final week of the transfer window only for the Villa Park outfit to see a change in owner, with Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens deciding to reject the bid (Birmingham Mail).
Steve Bruce who was in charge of Villa at the time of the bid even admitted that Grealish would have been a Spurs player if they had come in for the midfielder earlier in the summer (talkSPORT).
The 23-year-old has since signed a new £50,000-a-week contract at the club in September of last year which runs until 2023, but according to The Mirror contains a £30million release clause if they fail to return to the top flight.
Smith insisted that he has not spoken with Grealish about his future, he told The Telegraph: “It will be unbelievable for him and he wants nothing more than to get promoted with Aston Villa,”
“He has relished being the captain and is looking forward to the game and hopefully getting that win. It will mean everything to him.
“There could be pressure on him but that is something right from the off we have played down. We won’t put any pressure on any individual and talking to Jack he doesn’t feel that either.”
Smith added: “He is committed to Aston Villa and we’ve not even spoken about it otherwise,”
“If we don’t go up he’ll cost someone a hell of a lot of money if they want to buy him.
“One way or another, on Monday night we will either be a Premier League team or a Championship team and you have to have two scenarios for it. “But the difference this year is that the owners we’ve got are fully behind the club and it’s on an even keel and hopefully moving in an upwards direction.”
Jack Grealish is certainly a talented player who stands out in the Championship, yet is untested at the top level. At £30million, it would still represent good business with the player seeming to have put his childish antics behind him.
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