With Aston Villa focusing squarely on gaining promotion back to the Premier League via the Championship Play-Off route, all fans probably knew that come this time of the year we’d get distracting, deliberately angled stories about the future of starlet Jack Grealish.
A recent interview with our 23-year-old did just that, even though there was an understandable sense to his words given where the club find themselves.
Given the way the transfer rumour mill works, it’s no surprise that he continues to be linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur given how close it appeared they were to doing a deal for him prior to our takeover by Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens but the Mirror made an incredible claim over the weekend.
With Jack speaking about having his head turned and accepting over the summer that he would be sold, before that never came to pass, everyone is aware that he has a fixed release fee in his deal as it naturally formed part of his new five year contract.
Most guesses would’ve been around the £30million mark, maybe pushing £40million, but the Mirror claim it’s an absolutely eye watering £60million.
Now fair’s fair, it’s the Mirror for a start, but far from being a claim that disrupts Villa here, this one actually plays into our hands as despite Jack more than proving his worth this year as he significantly stepped up his own levels after injury – and proved his mentality by wearing the armband – £60million will make those clubs you’d expect to have an interest in him think twice.
Given laughable supposed interest from Crystal Palace, that takes them off the table in my mind. It probably takes Spurs off the table as well, as they won’t want to go that high on a single player you would think.
I’m happy enough with that!
But I must say the claim that if we fail to achieve promotion means we will look to sacrifice him is absolute codswallop, as having passed the Financial Fair Play three year assessment last March, we lose the first year when it comes to the calculation for the next assessment, so our big spending in 2016/17 under Roberto Di Matteo no longer figures – even allowing for no Premier League Parachute Payments moving forward. We’re now better placed financially than ever on an FFP front.