Aston Villa are facing the prospect of a shock summer fire sale with the club understood to be teetering on the brink of breaking financial fair play regulations.
The midlands outfit are believed to need to raise millions before next summer to make sure they are not the first Premier League club to fall foul of FFP regulations.
The Daily Mail claim they have been told that “Villa need to raise millions in player sales or wage savings before the summer in order to ensure they fit in with the Premier League’s spending limits”.
Villa were apparently close to breaching the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules in their promotion season, but the controversial £50m-plus sale of Villa Park bailed them out.
Villa then spent £90m on new players without any significant sales at Villa Park and under even though the Premier League’s spending limits are less stringent than the EFL’s they still look to be in financial peril.
The club lost £36.1m in 2017-18 and have yet to publish their accounts for 2018-19 and this season, and with them needing to record no more than £61m loss, under EFL and Premier League ruled, over the last three seasons they look in trouble.
And the one jewel in the crown at Villa Park who could ease the financial worry is Jack Grealish.
The England hopeful is understood to have a £45m buyout clause in the contract he signed in September 2018 and that may well stir more interest from Spurs chief Daniel Levy.
The 24-year-old was heavily linked with Tottenham in the summer of 2018, while Grealish has also been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks.
And when asked if Grealish is a player United could look to sign, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said recently: “I can’t talk too much about other teams’ players if they are Man United calibre or targets.
“But fantastic goal. I think he’s hit one of those corners that I’ve hit a couple of times.”
Villa won’t be forced into sales in January, but they will need to balance the books in the summer and they may well have to entertain bids for Grealish.