Aston Villa managed to put speculation surrounding Jack Grealish’s future to one side on Monday evening as they kicked off their Championship campaign with a confident 3-1 victory over Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
Steve Bruce’s side may well have been able to focus purely on football on Monday evening, but the post-match discussion was heavily focussed on whether Grealish will remain at Villa Park this summer. With just two days before the deadline, the BBC believe that Tottenham and Aston Villa are still £7 million apart in negotiations, so this looks set to be a story which will go right down to the wire.
Daniel Levy has orchestrated negotiations in typical fashion by stubbornly refusing to meet the demands of the club he is dealing with, but Tottenham’s failure to clinch a single deal this summer could ultimately force his hand in the final 48 hours of the window.
Villa at least need to consider the possibility of his departure and line up a replacement to sign in the event that the two clubs come to an agreement over Grealish. With that being said, Bruce should make contact with Manchester City as soon as possible regarding a potential deal for Patrick Roberts.
According to a recent report from the Scottish Sun, the former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae has claimed Roberts is set to sign for Celtic on a permanent deal during an interview with Clyde Superscoreboard. Whilst predominantly operating in a right-wing role, Roberts scored 18 goals and provided 26 assists from 78 appearances for the Bhoys during two separate loan spells, winning over the majority of the fanbase in the process.
His silky technical quality and incisive range of passing provided Celtic with a constant source of creativity in the past, but there is a feeling that the 21-year-old is not fully challenging himself in the SPFL. With that in mind, Roberts would be wise to move to Villa Park as it would provide him with an ideal stepping stone towards establishing himself as a Premier League player.
The departure of Grealish would undoubtedly leave a creative void in midfield which Roberts could fill either as a number ten or on the right-wing where he tends to cut inside onto his favoured left-boot, so Bruce should make the Fulham academy graduate his number one target to replace Villa’s golden boy.
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