Aston Villa ace Conor Hourihane has conceded that teammate Jack Grealish has a ‘tough decision’ to make this summer amid ongoing reports of Man Utd interest.
Grealish, 24, has enjoyed a fine season on his return to the Premier League, bagging nine goals and eight assists in 31 appearances for Villa across all competitions.
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As club captain, he has shown more maturity and experience on the pitch, and he is undoubtedly developing and improving into a top-class player.
Worryingly for Villa though as they continue to battle against relegation this season, ongoing reports are linking him with an exit as the Metro noted last week that he is one of the top transfer targets for Man Utd this summer as they are preparing a £70m swoop for the playmaker.
Hourihane has offered a very candid and fair assessment of the situation, as he has conceded that Grealish is likely to have a big decision ahead of him this summer on his future.
“Jack’s obviously hugely talented, he’s our talisman and he’s had a fantastic season. He’s been linked with so many clubs, lots of top teams around Europe,” he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“It’s going to be a tough summer and a tough decision for Jack. Hopefully, first and foremost, he keeps us up – that is the most important thing for the football club.
“And then, whatever Jack decides to do, that’s up to him. He deserves everything he gets.”
Whether or not Villa stay up could be a crucial factor. If they were to immediately return to the Championship, it would surely severely weaken their argument to keep Grealish at the club.
In contrast, if they maintained their top flight status and painted a picture for him to be the central figure in their ambitious plans to kick on and compete in the years ahead, it could be enough to convince him to stay with his boyhood club.
That said, the appeal of joining a giant of the game like Man Utd may be too much to ignore, and so time will tell if an offer is made, and whether or not Grealish decides that it’s time for the next step in his career ahead of next season.