Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has made it clear that rumoured Man Utd target Jack Grealish will be going nowhere in the January transfer window.
As noted by the Metro, the Red Devils have been linked with a swoop for the 24-year-old as he has been in fine form so far this season with eight goals and six assists in 21 appearances.
Given how crucial he is to Villa’s hopes of avoiding relegation this season though, it would seem bizarre to even think that they would be open to letting him leave midway through the campaign, and now Smith has ruled that out entirely.
“I think he’s a big target for many teams and you can see why,” he said, as quoted by Sky Sports. “He’s a top player but as I’ve said before, our owners are very ambitious and want to establish us as a top Premier League club.
“To do that you have to keep your best players, so we’ll be keeping hold of Jack Grealish. People can keep looking but they can’t touch.”
Whether or not the situation changes in the summer remains to be seen, particularly if Villa can’t avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
Having confirmed that both Tom Heaton and Wesley will miss the rest of the season due to injury, as per their tweet below, coupled with the blow suffered by influential midfielder John McGinn last month too, that objective is becoming increasingly difficult.
However, selling Grealish now would surely make no sense as the priority will perhaps be bringing players in this month to offer help.
Smith has sent a pretty clear message to Man Utd and any other potential interested parties with his statement above, but it will arguably be a nervous time for Villa fans in the months ahead as they’ll be fully aware of the threat of losing their best players if they slip into the bottom three and suffer relegation this season.
The Club can confirm that Tom Heaton and Wesley both suffered significant knee ligament damage during our match with Burnley on Wednesday and will now miss the rest of the season. #AVFC
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 3, 2020