Tuesday 26 March 2019

Villa will resists temptation to sell Jack

In demand: Jack Grealish
In demand: Jack Grealish

Aston Villa owner Tony Xia says he has tried his best to keep the club moving forward as the cash-strapped Sky Bet Championship outfit refuse to sell star midfielder Jack Grealish on the cheap.

Villa are facing a cash crisis, although they have resolved an immediate tax problem with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

"It has been very difficult 2 weeks as I hinted earlier I was almost heartbroken by something," Xia wrote on his personal Twitter account.

"Tried my best to keep beloved AV move forward. Thanks for all ppl standing together going through the difficult time. It was all supporters' encouraging words to keep me/us stronger."

Grealish is Villa's best option of raising a quick lump sum of cash as they look for £40million to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.

But Press Association Sport understands Villa will hold firm on their £30m valuation for the England Under-21 international.

West Ham, Manchester United and Leicester have been linked with the 22-year-old, although he is unlikely to move to the Foxes.

Villa missed a tax payment on Friday - although HMRC has since been paid - and need to raise money in the long term.

It has not been ruled out that Grealish, who wants to stay for another year, could remain at Villa Park, and the club will look for other income sources, although that is a risky strategy.

He has not yet been categorically told he will be sold but that appears the most likely outcome, with a bidding war Villa's best chance of getting the top price.

James Chester has also been linked with a move while fellow defender John Terry will leave on a free and full-back Alan Hutton is expected to depart when his contract expires at the end of the month as the club cuts costs.

Boyhood Villa fan Grealish impressed last season, despite only scoring three times, but the club failed to return to the Premier League, which has plunged them into financial uncertainty.

They lost the Championship play-off final 1-0 to Fulham last month after finishing fourth.

A week after the defeat Villa missed a tax payment but have now paid £500,000 and are expected to shell out a further £1.2m by the end of the week.

The outstanding amount is then likely to be sent swiftly, ensuring administration is not an immediate threat.

Chief executive Keith Wyness was suspended on Tuesday amid reports he had fallen out with Xia.

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