Here are your morning Aston Villa headlines for Monday, July 27.
Smith reveals planned talks with owners after Grealish question
The skipper produced his first strike in 15 games to keep Villa up by a point against West Ham United.
Last week, of course, Grealish was unsure if that 1-0 win over Arsenal would be he last as Villa’s No.10 in B6.
The 24-year-old has been tracked by Manchester United throughout 2020 but after the 1-1 draw at West Ham, Smith admitted he’s hopeful Grealish will stay.
“He goes out and gets drunk with me, that’s what happens now,” Smith said, sipping a beer during his post-match press conference. “Then, tomorrow, I’ll sit down with the owners and the chief exec.
“I must admit I’m so pleased for (the owners).”
When asked if Villa can keep hold of Grealish, Smith added: “No idea. Like I said, I’ll get drunk with him I’m certainly hopeful. He’s contracted for another three or four years I think.
“I’ve said many times before, we’ve got billionaire owners and, for clubs to get the best players, they cost an awful lot of money.
“He’s an Aston Villa fan and he’ll be immensely proud he scored the goal today because he managed to keep us in the Premier League.”
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Cole claims ‘it’s time’ for Grealish to move on
“I don’t think it’s time for Dean Smith to discuss it, but it’s time for us as pundits to talk about it,” Cole said on BT Sport. “We all know my feelings on Jack Grealish, he’s a special, special player.
“Today, in big moments, we saw him compose himself, and he was at the hub of everything good Villa did. He draws players in, he gives Villa that respite when they’re defending, he can drive with the ball up the pitch, he’s such a talented player.
He added: “I want to see him go to a club where players are going to play him into the final third, let him really show what I think he can become. I think he can become one of the top players in the league, but he needs to be in a team that can give him that platform.
“At the minute, credit to him, he’s been fantastic, but I think now’s the time for him to leave. I don’t want Villa fans to get despondent about it because I think they’d let him go now because they’ll realise he’s outgrown the club.”
Liverpool fans congratulate Reina
Liverpool fans congratulated Pepe Reina after Villa survived on the final day of the Premier League season.
Reina joined on loan from AC Milan in January after Tom Heaton’s season-ending injury and made 12 league appearances.
After the full-time whistle on Sunday, he admitted: “It’s been hard, it’s been a hard long season with the lockdown, but we just never gave up. It seemed almost impossible two, three weeks ago, but we still believed it.
“That togetherness, that belief, commitment and resilience made us. It’s a turning point for all the lads – I have one or two years left in my career, but for them to keep that status and still be Premier League players is massive for the club and the city.
“It seems like I came in January to help the team and somehow it is job done.”
Reina’s return to the Premier League came six years after the goalkeeper left Liverpool to join Bayern Munich on a permanent deal having been on loan to Napoli.
The 37-year-old made almost 400 appearances for the Reds during his stint at Anfield and fans of his former club took to social media to react to Villa’s survival.
Rashica ‘cancels’ Liverpool request amid Villa links
Werder Bremen forward Milot Rashica has snubbed an approach from Liverpool ahead of the summer transfer window, according to reports.
Rasicha has been linked with a move to the Premier League for several months and Villa are reported to be among the teams who hold an interest.
Werder narrowly avoided relegation from the top-flight, edging past Heidenheim in the end of season play-off and Rashica looks certain to leave when the window reopens.
The club’s sporting director Frank Baumann confirmed earlier in July that discussions over Rashica’s exit are underway.
“There is movement and discussions with a club, but other clubs are also interested in him. We have to assume that he won’t be with us next season. But we don’t need to sell below value,” said Baumann.
But according to Bild, Rashica ‘cancelled’ a request of talks from Liverpool in favour of pursuing a move to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.