Aston Villa CEO Tony Xia has said the Championship club must ‘player trade’ this summer in order to meet Financial Fair Play restrictions, as Tottenham continue their pursuit of playmaker Jack Grealish.

The Villians missed out on Premier League promotion and now need to drum up £40million in order to meet FFP, and are looking to fund most of their deficit with a deal for Grealish as they hold out for £30m.

Daniel Levy, renowned for his expert negotiating skills, is looking into a cut price deal for the 22-year-old in the hope that Villa’s financial trouble will make them more susceptible to a lower fee.

Xia wrote an open letter to Villa fans on Saturday, highlighting their need to ‘player trade’ in order to meet FFP and though the billionaire businessman refused to name names Grealish is their top asset.

Xia wrote: “To be clear, to meet FFP we need to player trade. No shareholding sale of any size will contribute to meeting FFP.

“We must reduce costs and increase revenue.”

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