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Ismaila Sarr


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Percys story about Jack from this morning has been updated from the 'more to follow' it ended with earlier. This is the new bits, linking us to Sarr



Though Smith and Villa will be bitterly disappointed to lose him, they have already identified a number of options to replace Grealish in the event of him being sold.

Watford's Ismaila Sarr is understood to be one of their preferred choices, while they also admire Norwich's Todd Cantwell and Bayer Leverkusen's Jamaica international Leon Bailey.

Villa have held talks this week with Leverkusen over a deal to sign Bailey but the prospect of raking in £100 million from the Grealish sale could see them prioritise other signings.

James Ward-Prowse, the Southampton midfielder, has emerged as another potential target though the south-coast club rejected a £25 million proposal from Villa on Friday. Southampton are also insistent that Ward-Prowse, an England international, is not for sale in this transfer window.

Villa have already smashed their own transfer record this summer with the £33 million capture of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City.

Guardiola, meanwhile, will be extremely satisfied with the recruitment of Grealish, after publicly admitting his admiration in the past. 

Kevin De Bruyne, City's Belgium international midfielder, is also thought to be a huge fan of the Birmingham-born player.

Since winning the title City are yet to make any major squad additions but Grealish will represent a huge statement of intent as they aim to defend the Premier League crown.

Guardiola begins the new campaign next Saturday in the Community Shield against Leicester City at Wembley. They then face Tottenham in their opening Premier League game on Sunday August 15.

Analysis: the development Aston Villa fans feared last summer

Grealish has been Villa's undisputed star man since their return to the Premier League, and the focal point of the club's ambition. He had arguably his best ever season in the last campaign, producing his best numbers despite missing much of the second half of the campaign with an injury.

At Euro 2020, he also impressed for England and appeared comfortable on the international stage under Gareth Southgate.

This is unquestionably the development Villa fans have feared all summer.

Villa's owners, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, are targeting a place in European football in years to come and Grealish is the player who they hoped would spearhead their quest.

This move from Guardiola now threatens those plans after finally making his much-anticipated move for Grealish, whose association with Villa began at the age of six.

Grealish will be 26 in September and is yet to play in European football at club level, which appears to be a major factor in what happens next. He holds his own personal ambitions and will know that a move to the Etihad will guarantee him the Champions League in September.

If Grealish does move, which now looks inevitable, there is no doubt that Villa will be very active in trying to ensure Dean Smith can continue progressing.

Villa have already spent around £250 million in the last three years and the target of European football will not change, even without the player the fans call Super Jack.


Edited by HalfTimePost
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5 minutes ago, KAZZAM said:

Proof Percy doesnt know anything just like any other 'sports journalist'. 

Just rehashing old names at this stage. 

What? He's just confirmed everything we know so far, plus I don't believe we've been linked to Sarr in a long time.

Confirmed interest in Sarr is new, as is Cantwell which had been tenuous links at best. Confirmed bids for JWP and Bailey too. That we did know but there's always people who will never believe until Percy says and now he has.

Just because we don't like it doesn't make it not true.

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3 minutes ago, HanoiVillan said:

I hope we're not just going to splurge all of the money on a load of bottom half PL/top half Championship players. I guess signing Sarr and Cantwell would at least weaken two bottom half rivals.

This is Villa. Take the most disappointing outcome, make it slightly worse, and accept it.

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5 minutes ago, HanoiVillan said:

I hope we're not just going to splurge all of the money on a load of bottom half PL/top half Championship players. I guess signing Sarr and Cantwell would at least weaken two bottom half rivals.

Maybe it's what clubs call 'prudent' spending these days. Hasn't served us too badly so far, but we can't keep doing it forever.

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Sarr would be a stupendously wicked signing, I've always associated players of his type with the very best Villa sides of days gone by, that is pacey players that can run past the opposition at speed, excite the crowd, and make things happen. I've felt that we've needed some genuine speed in our team for a while, so see it as a good sign that we're being linked with this player and Leon Bailey.

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