The unquestionable talent of Jack Grealish belongs in the Champions League and not in a relegation fight, there is no doubt about that.

And even during the final throes of Aston Villa’s ultimately successful battle against demotion to the Championship, it was extremely difficult to see Grealish staying at his beloved club regardless of what level they were going to start their next campaign.

I could not see it.

But just a few short days into a transfer window that still has over two months to run, that scenario is becoming a lot easier to envisage.

Manchester United were believed to be the primary suitor but it is becoming increasingly clear Jadon Sancho is their number one target.

Jack Grealish’s goal against West Ham helped keep Aston Villa up
(Image: Getty Images)

And it has been increasingly clear for some time that Borussia Dortmund are willing to do business, very profitable business.

If Sancho goes to Old Trafford, Grealish does not.

Manchester City’s priorities were always going to be in a defensive area, hence the accepted £41million bid for Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake.

But also, you always knew Pep Guardiola would not be able to resist another attacking recruit. Alas for Grealish, that seems certain to be exciting young Spaniard, Ferran Torres, at a fraction of the price Villa would want for their prize asset.

Jurgen Klopp, like most, is an admirer of Grealish but it looks like the Premier League champions are not going to be splashing out a fortune on individuals any time soon – at least that is what the Liverpool manager has maintained for some time.

And Chelsea have already spent a lot of their dough on offensive-minded players and if Roman Abramovich coughs up some more, Frank Lampard will surely look to sign up someone who can help his team ship less than the 54 Premier League goals they did this season.

On a goalkeeper maybe? Or Declan Rice or Ben Chilwell.

There is the chance a club abroad might come knocking but you can almost feel belts being tightened amongst the continental elite.

Of course, there are teams not involved in next season’s Champions League but who would expect to be regularly competing for a top four slot, most notably Arsenal and Spurs.

It is not clear which club would swoop for Grealish
(Image: Justin Setterfield/NMC/Pool/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

But again, the messages from Arsenal are that they are no longer likely to sanction an £80million hit on one player.

It would be a statement from Spurs and the sort of move that might ease the type of concerns Harry Kane might have but Daniel Levy is unlikely to release that sort of cash without getting some in.

Grealish is good enough to play a prominent role for any of the clubs mentioned here, that is for sure.

And his attitude in the matches before and after Project Restart surely dispelled any doubts about the player’s mental strength and about his approach.

There has been the odd off-the-field issue but Grealish’s commitment cannot be questioned.

No, if Grealish does not move to one of the established superpowers, it will be because of circumstance.

And while Villa are a long way from reclaiming a stake to being an established superpower, it is worth remembering they ARE a big club with very wealthy, ambitious owners.

Grealish could further underline his class and character by driving them forward next season, by leading them to a season that is not consumed with struggle, by showing the sort of mettle that will convince Gareth Southgate to make him a part of Euro 2020 in 2021.

Grealish’s future is very much up in the air
(Image: Getty Images)

Grealish turns 25 in September and will probably not want to wait too long before testing himself amongst the European elite.

That is where that talent belongs but in the grand scheme of things, one more season at Villa will not do him any harm.

Oscar wants rule change

Oscar last played for Brazil in 2015 but his club career in China continues to be a success, apparently.

So now, he wants FIFA to change the rules so he can switch allegiance to the country of his employment.

“If the China national team need one good midfielder, I can help if they change,” said Oscar.

Let’s hope not. If a Brazilian who has earned almost half a century of caps in the colours of his homeland can suddenly turn Chinese in his late twenties, the international game really is up.

Tyson farce

If there was a moment when talk of Mike Tyson’s comeback – he is scheduled to meet Roy Jones in an exhibition bout in September – reached peak farce, it was probably a couple of days ago when he said he would beat Rocky Balboa, Ivan Drago and Conor McGregor in the ring.

Mike Tyson’s comeback has been widely scrutinised
(Image: Getty Images)

Mike, all three of those are fictional boxers.

Balls up

There is a new official match ball for the 2020/21 Premier League season. Guess what? It’s round. And will cost you more than the previous round one.

Community Shield controversy

Seriously, could they have just not given the Community Shield a miss this year?

West Indies heroes

The West Indies cricket team deserves all the credit coming its way for its fundamental role in saving English cricket’s summer.

The game here should be a long time in its debt.

The West Indies have been commended for participating in their series against England
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

But by the end of the third Test match, it did look as though they had, quite understandably, put up with enough time in a bio-secure bubble.

If they could not wait to get home, who could blame them?

So, reading too much into a home series win is clearly unwise.

But if there was one very encouraging sign from the final game at Old Trafford, it was that Ben Stokes was not the headline-maker for once.

A team with Stokes as its talisman but not as its be-all and end-all could be an all-conquering unit.

Me, me, me

Not sure which was the more grudging compliment, the one from Ricky Ponting who congratulated Stuart Broad on his 500th Test wicket by describing him as “a very skilful bowler, especially in English conditions” or the following beauty from Yuvraj Singh.

Stuart Broad became just the seventh man to take 500 Test wickets
(Image: Getty Images for ECB)

“I’m sure every time I wrote something about Stuart Broad, people relate to him getting hit for 6 sixes. Today, I request all my fans to applaud what he has achieved …”

In terms of making a compliment something all about yourself, the highest praise for Yuvraj – who hit Broad for a maximum over in the T20 World Cup 13 years ago – is that Jose Mourinho would be tremendously proud of that one.

And there is no higher accolade than that.

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