By Graham Hill
DEAN SMITH has reacted to reports that Villa have put a £60million buy-out clause in Jack Grealish’s contract.
With Tottenham hovering should Villa fail to win promotion through the play-offs, the Sunday People reported that Grealish’s contract contains a clause that would force Villa to allow their captain to speak with interested clubs.
It is thought that Villa will not listen to offers below £60million for the inspirational midfielder who wants to return to the Premier League to boost his chances of an England call up.
When asked about the clause after the defeat by Norwich at Villa Park, boss Smith said: “I can’t say anything on it.
“But if it was me, it would probably be more!”
Spurs failed to get Grealish for a knockdown price last summer when Villa were saved from going into administration by Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris’ buyout.
Tottenham could have had Grealish for £25million with Villa desperate to sell to stave off their financial problems.
But the new owners refused to let Grealish leave.
And now any interested clubs will have to cough up an enormous sum of money just to talk to Villa about losing their skipper.
It had been thought the clause was between £30-45million – but it is now revealed to be way in excess of that.
Grealish has been the catalyst for Villa’s late promotion bid after he returned from a three month spell out with a shin injury.
He has missed one game but the run has included 10 successive wins and a draw last week in a controversial game at Leeds.
But it is accepted that Grealish will have to go if Villa fail in the play-offs for the second year running.
The club still have FFP rules to adhere to. But the cash raised from the sale of Grealish would help boss Smith rebuild. But Grealish has already said this week that he feels that this is ‘Villa’s year’.