Football

‘It was only yesterday talks got underway!’ – Grealish admits Villa stay was 50-50

The 25-year-old signed a new five-year contract on Tuesday but admitted it was far from certain he’d stay with the team

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has admitted that it was 50-50 whether he’d stay after committing his future to the club on Tuesday.

Grealish signed a new five-year contract with Villa, ending speculation that linked him with a move to Manchester United among other teams. 

The 25-year-old capped off a banner day by scoring the winner against Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup in a 3-1 victory.

When asked by Sky Sports after the match if it was 50-50 whether he’d stay, Grealish said: “Yeah, I suppose so.

“I had a good season last season and there was interest in myself from other clubs, but I just truly believe that everything happens for a reason and I’ve just happened to sign a new contract at Aston Villa, and I’ve got the biggest smile on my face.”

Grealish clearly agonised over whether to stay or go, admitting that he only decided to sign the new contract on Monday.

“On Saturday I had a FaceTime call with the owner and he said what his ambitions are for this season and it really persuaded me,” he continued.

“And then it was only yesterday when talks got underway and it was done within 24 hours so it was quite an easy one, which is obviously good for myself.”

Grealish scored eight Premier League goals and added six assists last season as Villa narrowly avoided relegation in their first season after being promoted from the Championship.

Despite staying in the top flight, the England international admitted the club were not satisfied with their campaign and backed them to improve in 2020-21.

“Last season probably didn’t go the way we planned although we stayed in the Premier League. I think everyone involved with the club wanted to probably finish higher,” the midfielder said. 

“But the certain stuff that the owners have said to me, and the chief executive and the manager, they’ve said their ambitions for the season … you know it really, really persuaded me to to get this over and done with.”

After their win over Burton Albion, Villa will return to Premier League action when they welcome Sheffield United to Villa Park on Monday.

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