Bruce: Tottenham must find more if they want Grealish
Spurs are yet to sign a player ahead of Thursday transfer deadline.
Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce has warned Tottenham there is no cheap solution in their pursuit of Jack Grealish.
The manager confirmed for the first time the clubs are in talks over the midfielder but Spurs – who are yet to make a signing this summer – are nowhere near Villa’s asking price.
Bruce was resigned to losing Grealish on the cheap before Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens’ takeover last month which saved Villa from possible administration.
The club must still comply with Financial Fair Play and selling Grealish would virtually solve the issue but Bruce has told Spurs they can no longer agree a knockdown price.
“I don’t want to lose Jack and neither do the owners. We don’t want to lose our best players but it’s football and it might happen,” he said.
“The one thing we’re able to do is be in a much better bargaining position because now, if Spurs want to buy him, they will have to buy him at a premium that in the last few weeks they haven’t been able to get to.
“Take money out of it, we’re in the Championship and Tottenham are in the Champions League so I’m aware that there is a human involved and a football player.
“A football player always wants to play at the top. He’s a local lad who has done great.
“Ever since I walked through the door it’s always been about Grealish one way or another and continues to be here.
“He’s our best player by a distance and a very good player.”
Bruce also admitted Villa would be prepared to offer Grealish – who has two years left on his current deal – a new contract if he stayed beyond Thursday’s transfer deadline.
He said: “Of course we would, we all would, but I have not had that conversation because up until two weeks ago, everyone was for sale.”
Villa must find around £40million to adhere to FFP regulations but Bruce said they would find a way to resolve it if they did not sell Grealish, who could still play in Monday’s Sky Bet Championship opener at Hull.
“It’s something we’re going to have to try to navigate,” he said.
“We’ve navigated it before, just, last year, so it’s something we’re going to have to try to navigate this year.
“I believe there are eight clubs under embargo in the Championship now. They all keep that quiet so we’re not the only ones but that’s been lifted now.”