Tuesday 25 June 2019

Grealish to pen new Villa deal and more than double wages

WANTED: Tottenham failed in their attempts to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa over the summer. Photo credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire
WANTED: Tottenham failed in their attempts to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa over the summer. Photo credit: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

John Percy

Jack Grealish is expected to sign a new contract with Aston Villa this week, as the pressure builds on manager Steve Bruce.

Grealish is close to agreeing an improved deal which would more than double his £20,000-a-week salary. Confirmation is expected in the next few days.

Tottenham Hotspur failed in their pursuit of the 23-year-old in the summer transfer window, offering £25 million, but Villa's new owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens were adamant that he was not for sale.

Christian Purslow, the club's new chief executive, has made Grealish's future his priority and Villa are confident of putting the finishing touches to the contract this week.

Grealish's current deal runs to the end of next season and the new terms are a reward for his emergence as one of the best players outside the Premier League. Gareth Southgate's No 2 with England, Steve Holland, watched Grealish in Villa's win over Rotherham last Tuesday.

With Villa likely to face punishment from the Football League over their finances next year, the prospect of Grealish being sold before next season remains a possibility if the club fail to win promotion. However, it is thought unlikely that Villa will accept any offers for the former England Under-21 international in the January window.

Bruce's future is again under scrutiny after Villa's loss to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, with many fans demanding a change.

Though there is no appetite in the boardroom to dismiss Bruce at this stage - with Purslow keen to maintain stability - the Villa manager has accepted that poor results will ultimately leave the club with no choice.

The defeat leaves Villa 13th in the Championship with a trip to Bristol City on Friday night.

Bruce said: "All I can do is get on with it and try and work as hard as I can to get a settled team.

"There's some who will never accept me here, but that's part and parcel of management. They're disappointed, but so am I.

"We'll go to work again on Monday - and I still believe that the team we have will be a threat in this division. We all look for time. That's the magic word.

"No matter how you dress it up, it's still a new team and people have only been here a few weeks. When they settle in, they'll be fine." © Daily Telegraph, London.

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