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Grealish source delivers update on Aston Villa ace after transfer speculation

By Matt Farr

Jack Grealish’s father has rubbished talk of the Aston Villa midfielder leaving the club to join Middlesbrough this month.

The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that Grealish had emerged a surprise transfer target for Middlesbrough, who are preparing for life without Gaston Ramirez, who has requested a move away from the club.

The Birmingham Mail, meanwhile, claim that Aston Villa have even considered offering the 21-year-old as part of a player-plus-cash-deal to land Jordan Rhodes.

However, Grealish’s father, Kevin, took to Facebook on Saturday morning to reassure Villa fans that his son would not be joining Middlesbrough.

In what appeared an emphatic answer to speculation from the closest possible source to the player, he said: “It’s a NO NO. Boro. UptheVilla.”

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Contrary to Grealish’s father, former Villa and Middlesbrough player George Boateng has urged the player to ‘seriously consider’ a switch to the Riverside, where it would help him improve his attitude.

Grealish remains a top talent, but has struggled to remain grounded in the public sphere since making his first-team debut for the club at the end of the 2013-14 season.

He has been faced with ongoing controversies, including a visit to a nightclub shortly after a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Everton in the Premier League last season.

His behaviour has improved this season, but he still has a point to prove to manager Steve Bruce, who has recently also chosen to bring in as many as three new midfield recruits.

The England U21 international now faces even stiffer competition for a first-team place in Bruce’s side, having completed the full 90 minutes on just 14 of his 24 appearances in all competitions this season.

Football Insider verdict

Despite the arrival of midfield trio Birkir Bjarnason, Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane last week, Grealish should be looking to stay at Villa Park. There is still a lot for him to learn, and a move back to the Premier League with Middlesbrough would not be the best thing for him at this stage of his career. He couldn’t handle the big occasion in the top-flight with Villa last season, hence the controversies, and although the environment at Middlesbrough will be different, it would still be a big risk. Given the player’s talent, Villa should also want to keep him on-board, as he can be a real future asset. He’s also a big hit with the fans, and they won’t be best pleased to see the club offloading one of their bright young stars.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club have fought-off competition from three Premier League giants for the signature of this Bury wonderkid.

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