Jack Grealish’s father reveals why Man City star’s 2018 transfer from Aston Villa to Tottenham collapsed
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Jack Grealish’s father, Kevin, has revealed how close his son was to joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2018, and why the deal broke down.
The winger looked set to join Spurs five years ago, when playing at Aston Villa, but a £25m bid was blocked by owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, whose takeover that summer provided the solution to the Villans’ financial woes, which at one stage made Grealish’s sale look inevitable.
Yet the boyhood Villa fan remained at the club and signed a contract extension the following month. In 2021, he broke the British transfer record when he joined Manchester City for £100m, but that may not have happened had his move to Spurs not collapsed.
Speaking in a recent interview, Grealish’s father revealed that Tottenham’s attempt to lowball the financially susceptible Villa didn’t sit well with him, despite the London club finally making a realistic offer on deadline day.
“I said ‘no, Jack is not going’,” he told Norwegian outlet VG. “Something was not right. They tried to get him cheap. For a pittance. Maybe I was naive, but I said ‘we're not going’.”
However, it was a decision Grealish Sr soon came to doubt. “I thought ‘have I made a complete fool of myself, have I messed it up?’. And "will Jack ever get the chance to play against such great players [in the Champions League]?’.”
Grealish did leave Villa three years later and finally got his chance to compete with Europe’s elite, although that decision still doesn't sit well with all fans of his former club, and the 28-year-old is booed by certain sections of the home crowd when he returns to Villa Park.
“It was Jack who got them [Villa] up,” reflected the England international’s father. “When he returned [from injury during the season] and became captain , the odds were 20/1 to manage a promotion. I know it's a team game, but still. The next year he was also the one who kept Villa up. Then he left for £100 million.
“It hurts me when we travel back to Villa today,” he added. “They boo. Some sections of the fans there do. It's about putting him out of action a little bit. But he is a former academy player, who could have left them in the Championship. He stayed instead and ensured revenues of £300 million.”