Christian Purslow saw a talismanic presence lure from the West Midlands and a record British transfer was enforced
Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow has admitted that the club “hoped” that a £ 100 million ($ 139 million) release clause in Jack Grealish’s contract would be enough to fend off all applicants, but Manchester City has flexed its financial muscles again to complete a British transfer of data.
After months of intense speculation about the future of the enigmatic English playmaker, a big deal has been struck that will lead the talented 24-year-old from his youth club to the books of the reigning Premier League champions.
A nine-figure sum was required to get that deal across the line, with City breaking the previous record for the highest fee in English football, and Purslow admits Villa could do nothing more if the “unique value” of their prized asset was achieved was recognized.
What was done
Purslow told Villa’s official website why a deal was closed for Grealish, with a release clause added to his terms as early as September 2020: “It was a very emotional moment when he shared his decision with me.
“Jack wanted to be sure that if at any point a Champions League club came up for him and Aston Villa wasn’t in a contract, we wouldn’t get in his way.
“Our board of directors has set this clause to a value of 100 million.
“We have taken the value to a level we hoped would not be achieved, but which reflects its truly unique value to Aston Villa.
“In the end, he said it came down to wanting to play Champions League football now.”
What’s next with Villa?
Grealish is now part of Villa’s past, with a six-year deal signed at Etihad Stadium for accepting City’s No. 10 jersey.
His departure leaves an obvious void in Dean Smith’s roster, but efforts have already been made to counter the lack of their talismanic captain.
Emi Buendia, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey were brought in from Villa this summer and added goals and creativity to their ranks.
He added, “We knew that day was coming.
“We never intended to replace Jack with a footballer; our strategy was to analyze and break down Jack’s key attributes – his creativity, assists and goals – and find these and other qualities in three strikers.
“We believe we have achieved this important goal. And with it, we have reduced our over-dependence on a brilliant footballer.”
Villa will open its 2021-22 campaign on August 14th at the newly promoted Watford, with a first Grealish at City reunion on November 30th.