Aston Villa Chief Executive Christian Purslow has released a lengthy statement that explains the reasoning behind the departure of Jack Grealish.
On Thursday, it was announced that Manchester City had completed the signing of Grealish for a British-record fee of £100m.
Prior to this departure, Aston Villa had been busy in the transfer market themselves.
£26m Grealish disparity after Pep’s ‘pig-headed unwillingness’
Firstly, they signed Norwich City star Emiliano Buendia, who had previously been linked with Arsenal. They broke their transfer record to sign the midfielder for £33m.
Their second purchase was Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey. The winger had consistently been linked with a Premier League move before Villa secured his services for £30m.
Aston Villa’s third signing of the window was Danny Ings from Southampton. The England striker was set to be out of contract in 2022 and he joins the Villans for an initial fee of £25m.
Purslow took time to explain Grealish‘s departure via the club’s official Twitter account:
“Most importantly for our supporters tonight, I want you all to be reassured that the board, Dean Smith, Johan Lange (sporting director) and I obviously knew this day might come and we have planned accordingly.
“It was never our intention to replace Jack with one footballer. Our strategy was to analyse and break down Jack’s key attributes – his creativity, his assists, his goals – and to find these qualities and others in three forward players.
“In signing Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings, we believe we have achieved this key objective. And in doing so, have also reduced an overdependence on one brilliant footballer.
“As we near the start of the season, Dean and his coaching staff, our players and the board are all looking forward to seeing our new team with enthusiasm, with excitement and with confidence.
“There is real depth and breadth to our squad with these new players and the returning Ashley Young joining last year’s outstanding signings, all of whom have settled brilliantly, as well as some more very high potential academy graduates who are now in and around the first team squad. They truly are the future.
“On behalf of Nassefc (Sawiris), Wes (Edens) and myself, we look forward to seeing you back at Villa Park on August 21 and thank you for your fantastic support.”