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'They can't touch' – Smith warns suitors that Grealish is not for sale

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says the club will not entertain any offers for in-demand captain Jack Grealish and insists the midfielder is not for sale.

Grealish has made a huge impact since the club’s return to the Premier League and has starred in recent weeks, the 24-year-old scoring eight goals and providing a further five assists in all competitions so far this season.

Such has been his level of performance that Manchester United have been strongly linked with a big-money move for the academy graduate during the January transfer window as they bid to solve their dearth of midfield creativity, while Spurs have also been linked.

Dean Smith admits that Grealish’s recent showings are likely to attract the attention of the division’s leading sides, but says Villa have ambitions of establishing themselves as a top Premier League club and will not consider parting with any of their best players.

“I think he’s a big target for many teams and you can see why,” Smith said at his pre-match press conference.

“He’s a top player but as I’ve said before, our owners are very ambitious and want to establish us as a top Premier League club.

“To do that you have to keep your best players, so we’ll be keeping hold of Jack Grealish. People can keep looking but they can’t touch.

“We want to keep our best players and he’s showing he’s one of the best in the Premier League.”

Villa face Fulham in the FA Cup third round at 3:01pm on Saturday at Craven Cottage.

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