Dean Smith: Where's Jack Grealish going? Getting drunk with me!

Aston Villa have no desire to sell Grealish - unless a big-money offer is made for the club's captain and talisman

Jack Grealish celebrates Aston Villa's survival
Image: Jack Grealish celebrates Aston Villa's survival

Dean Smith joked that Jack Grealish's immediate plans are to get drunk, rather than discuss his future, as Aston Villa secured their Premier League status.

Smith's Villa drew 1-1 at West Ham on the final day of the season, thanks to Watford's defeat at Arsenal, despite their survival seeming nearly impossible just a fortnight ago.

preview image 3:24
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 1-1 draw between West Ham and Aston Villa in the Premier League

Attention will now turn to the summer, with just a seven-week break before the new season starts, and the future of Villa's talisman Grealish, who has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs.

Villa have no desire to sell Grealish - unless a big-money offer is made for the club's captain and talisman.

Smith insists celebrations are first and foremost in his mind, and said he would cost a lot of money for clubs to sign.

Asked about Grealish's future, Smith said: "He goes out and gets drunk with me now!"

He later added: "We've got billionaire owners and he'd cost a lot, a lot of money."

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Jack Grealish celebrates after giving Villa a 1-0 lead at the London Stadium
Image: Grealish has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs

He also told BT Sport: "I'll sit down with the sporting director, CEO and owners tomorrow, but let us enjoy this is great achievement. We were written off by many people and we've managed to stay up on the final day."

Villa picked up eight points from their final four games to survive by just a single point, and were noticeably more solid defensively after the restart.

Smith, who lost his father Ron to coronavirus during the lockdown period, has previously said he watched every Villa game during the three-month break, and believes his side used that period better than any other.

Villa's change since the restart

(Per game) Before restart After restart
Shots on target faced 5.6 2.8
Goals conceded 2 1.1
Shots faced 18.1 10.1
Errors leading to shots 0.85 0.2

"It's a magnificent achievement from everybody," he told BT Sport. "It's a proud moment, and it actually feels better than last year going up in the play-offs.

"Whether we'd stayed up or gone down today, I'd have said the same thing: it was a big change we had to make at the football club at the end of the season. Not many people understand we had to build a new squad, people just looked at the money we spent.

Dean Smith
Image: Dean Smith also says Villa used the lockdown period better than any other side

"We used the pandemic the best I feel - I lost my father in that period, so there was a lot of disappointment - but we worked very hard, because we knew we had to be defensively better.

"They've been written off by everybody and they were relegated after Leicester. There were people, like my Dad, who lost their lives through the pandemic and we've come back and used that period well. It was our day today."

'Grealish has almost outgrown Villa'

Jack Grealish 0:43
Darius Vassell thinks Grealish will be considering his future at Aston Villa

Former Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell believes Jack Grealish may be tempted by a move to a club playing in Europe.

"Villa fans aren't going to like me saying it but he's almost outgrown [the club], too good," Vassell told Sky Sports News.

"It's always Jack that's expected to come up with the goods in football matches and I think that to truly test himself of how good he can be he needs to be playing football in Europe.

"Villa are obviously aspiring to get there but they might be a few seasons away from that.

"So for Jack if he wants to get there soon he might have to think about leaving.

Jack Grealish celebrates his goal at West Ham 1:49
Rob Dorsett believes Aston Villa will not accept any deal under £60m for captain Jack Grealish after they clinched survival on Sunday

"But at the same time as a Villa fan you want to see him with claret colours on scoring the goals and providing the goals for his team-mates.

"So that's where we want him but from his point of view if he wants to play European football then he's got to think about his future now and I'm pretty sure he will be."

What's next?

The 2020/21 Premier League season kicks off on September 12 2020, and will run until May 23 2021. The EFL has confirmed the Championship season will commence on the same weekend, with their regular seasons ending on the weekend of May 8 2021.

    Premier League clubs have voted for the summer transfer window to open the day after the 2019/20 season ends - on Monday July 27 - and run for 10 weeks.

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