Jack Grealish signs new five-year Aston Villa deal
Villa captain signs deal through to 2025 with significant pay rise and bigger buy-out clause after interest from Manchester United and Arsenal over the summer
By Tommaso Fiore
Last Updated: 15/09/20 11:32pm
Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has committed his future to the club by signing a new five-year deal.
The 25-year-old was in demand with several clubs this summer, including Manchester United and Arsenal, after enjoying an excellent breakthrough season in the Premier League in which he scored eight goals to secure Villa's top-flight status.
Grealish's new Villa contract contains a significant pay rise, compared with his existing deal which expired in 2023, and also contains a bigger buy-out clause than his previous contract.
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Grealish broke through the youth ranks at his hometown club in 2014, remaining at Villa Park despite a relegation to the Championship in 2016, and playing a key role in their return to the Premier League in 2019.
"I am delighted to make this commitment to Villa," Grealish said. "It is my club, my home and I am very happy here.
"The owners have made it very clear to me how ambitious they are and how they want to build Aston Villa. There are exciting times ahead and I am very glad to be part of it."
Grealish capped off a memorable season with his maiden England call-up as he made his Three Lions debut during their Nations League game against Denmark earlier this month.
Aston Villa have broken their transfer record this summer by signing highly-rated striker Ollie Watkins from Brentford for a fee rising to £33m and have already agreed deals to sign Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and Lyon forward Bertrand Traore.
Villa get their 2020/21 season under way when they visit Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, before their Premier League opener against Sheffield United on Monday Night Football, both live on Sky Sports.
Grealish: Future was '50/50' before new deal
Speaking to Sky Sports after Aston Villa's 3-1 win over Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup, Grealish was asked whether his future at Villa had been '50/50' before he signed the new deal, amid speculation over his future this summer.
He sad: "Yeah I suppose it was. I had a good season last season, there was interest, but I believe everything happens for a reason and I've happened to sign a new contract here, and I've got the biggest smile on my face.
"It was sorted yesterday. I decided that I wanted to stay after I had a chat, well saying that I always wanted to stay - it's Aston Villa, it's a club that's close to me and my family. I think everyone knows that. But there's been speculation through the summer. I had a FaceTime call with the owner on Saturday, he said what his ambitions are for this season and that persuaded me if anything.
"I spoke to the manager and Christian Purslow, who've both been a breath of fresh air since they've come in. Yesterday talks got underway, and it was done within 24 hours, it was quite an easy one and now I'm delighted to have signed it."
Analysis: 'Villa's signing of the summer, out of nowhere'
Sky Sports' Gerard Brand:
"Out of nowhere, and with three weeks of the transfer window remaining, Grealish has all but put an end to talk of his future at Aston Villa.
"No matter who Villa sign this summer, this is their biggest coup under Dean Smith, and allows them to plan for this season knowing their skipper and talisman remains. He is the man to build a team around.
"This will have a knock-on impact on Manchester United's plans; struggling with the Jadon Sancho saga, they have Gareth Bale as an option on loan, but Grealish looks to be out of the equation for them now.
"Villa fans will be hoping this isn't a repeat of the Fabian Delph episode in the summer of 2015 - the midfielder signed a new deal in January, released a statement in July insisting he was staying at Villa Park, and then left for Manchester City six days later. Villa were relegated with 17 points that season.
"But for lifelong-Villa fan Grealish, a U-turn would be far fetched. 'It is my club, my home, and I am very happy here,' he said upon signing."
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