By Alex McLeish

30th Jul, 2021 | 4:00pm

McLeish claims Aston Villa are about to sign a player who has all the Grealish hallmarks

Alex McLeish has suggested Aston Villa are preparing for the exit of Jack Grealish amid talks to sign Todd Cantwell from Norwich City.

The former Villa boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 23-year-old Canaries star is the same “effervescent” type of player as the Villans ace.

As revealed by Football Insider last week (July 21st), Villa are in advanced talks to sign Cantwell and there is confidence a deal can be done.

This site has since detailed (July 28th) how Grealish is expected to seal a mega-money move to Manchester City next week.

The Villa talisman has agreed personal terms and it is now a matter of the clubs agreeing on a fee.

McLeish insisted there would be some fierce competition for places if Grealish stayed after Cantwell’s arrival.

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However, he suggested his old side were readying themselves to lose the 25-year-old.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “Cantwell is a guy who catches the eye. He certainly caught my eye when they were in the Premier League.

“I know they went down, he had that season of coming straight back up and he’s back again. It’s no surprise that Cantwell has caught somebody’s eye.

“Could it be that Grealish leaves and Cantwell comes in? Or Grealish stays and Cantwell comes in at the some time?

It would be some competition for places in that Aston Villa squad because they have an extremely strong squad.

“Cantwell is an effervescent player. I’m not saying he’s the new Jack Grealish but he has that style a wee bit, doesn’t he? Running with the ball, making runs off the ball and a player the fans like to see getting the ball.

“Maybe not quite at Jack’s level but at the same time, you always have to be prepared just in case you lose one of your best players.

“The heavy press talk on Jack at the moment has you thinking that that will be a particular price where Villa will say yes.”

In other news, Aston Villa are set to accept £15million bid for regular starter loved by Premier League legend.