Aston Villa plan for Grealish exit with championship ace at Wijnaldum

Aston Villa are reportedly looking to sign Norwich City’s Todd Cantwell if they lose the Jack Grealish talisman this summer.

The Villans appeared to have nailed Grealish for the foreseeable future when he signed a new deal in September. The 25-year-old has extended his contract until the summer of 2025, apparently pushing all suitors away. But it was reported earlier this month that the England midfielder has a release clause in his contract.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is said to be a big fan. And Premier League table tops could be set to match that number this summer.

Should Grealish leave his childhood club, then Dean Smith will want a replacement in the midfield. And the Daily mail report that Cantwell is the man they will turn to.

Still just 23 years old, the former England Under-21 ace was an outstanding Canaries player in 2019-2020. They might have been relegated to the championship but he held on in the division.

The Norfolk-born star had another excellent second-place England campaign. Starting 28 league games, he scored six goals and four assists to help Daniel Farke’s side return to the top flight.

Carrow Road’s outfit won’t want to lose him and have reportedly slapped a £ 30million prize on his head. It wouldn’t scare Villa if Grealish left, with the Birmingham-born ace sure to go way beyond that figure.

Norwich needs urgent contract negotiations with Cantwell

Cantwell will be out of contract at the end of next season. Therefore, it would be prudent for the English East to tie it to a longer deal.

That won’t stop clubs from making inquiries this summer but will allow Norwich to charge higher fees for his signing. Other clubs may also enter for Cantwell.

Leeds United were linked last year but reduced to his fees. Figures like Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United have also reportedly shown interest in recent months.

Cantwell is known to have admirers in the English game. But he received a hefty price tag on loan with Dutch club Fortuna Sittard in 2018.

He has scored two goals in 10 league appearances, prompting manager Claudio Braga to make a favorable comparison.

“I worked with (Portugal international) Danny and in his youth I worked with (Liverpool) Gini Wijnaldum,” he told The Athletic in 2019.

“But what I can say is for me – and it’s hard to say these things – is that I think Todd is on the same level and maybe he can do more, because he has the talent.

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