Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has warned Tottenham, or any interested party, that it will cost a significant fee to prise Jack Grealish away from the club this summer.
Villa will hope to secure promotion back to the Premier League on Monday when they face Derby County at Wembley in the Championship playoffs final.
However, failure to go back up to the top flight this time round could force the club into making difficult decisions with regards to their squad and potential exits.
Given Grealish has established himself as their talisman and captain over the past two seasons, there will undoubtedly be interest in him, with The Guardian noting that Tottenham are likely to try again for the talented playmaker after Sky Sports reported last summer on a possible move to north London failing to materialise.
Smith though has warned Spurs that even if Villa fail to get out of the Championship this time round, they will not allow their star man to leave on the cheap and will demand a big fee given he only recently signed a new contract to commit his long-term future.
“He’s signed a brand-new contract at the start of the season, committing himself to the football club,” he said, as per the Guardian. “He loves Aston Villa and he’ll want nothing more than to get promoted with Aston Villa.
“If we don’t go up he’ll cost someone a hell of a lot of money if they want to buy him. He is committed to Aston Villa and we’ve not even spoken about it otherwise.”
Naturally, Smith will hope that Tottenham’s interest becomes irrelevant if Villa secure promotion, as playing for and captaining the club in the Premier League is surely the Birmingham native’s dream scenario.
Time will tell if that materialises, but with Tottenham also having more immediate priorities with the Champions League final next weekend, they will surely have their transfer plans on hold for the time being and will assess their options after their showdown with Liverpool in Madrid.