Chelsea make proper offer for Jack Grealish
Sure to turn heads at Villa Park.
Aston Villa's recent financial restraints are no secret at this stage and as a result the Birmingham club's bargaining power has been diminished.
It was hardly surprising then when Tottenham, encouraged by the hard nose of Daniel Levy, attempted to swoop in with an offer of half nothing the very minute they smelled blood.
But in fairness to Aston Villa, they haven't budged on Jack Grealish and Spurs quickly got their dues for chancing their arm. The 22-year-old attacking midfielder enjoyed a watershed season in the Championship in the campaign just past.
After a couple of ropy, mercurial seasons prior, The jinky schemer began to deliver on a consistent basis this time around, playing a key role in the Villans march all the way to the playoff final.
If the claret and blues had defeated Fulham on that faithful Wembley day, Grealish would have been expected to remain under Steven Bruce's stewardship into next season in a bit to continue the progress of the year just past.
But it's fine margins like these that make the difference at the highest level and with Villa losing out on the richest game in football, their stock has dramatically fallen.
In contrast, Grealish's has risen on the back of his own exploits and a whole host of Premier League clubs are now in the market for the creative gem. Manchester United were reportedly sniffing around at the same time as Spurs, but neither of them have made a bid to match the substance of Chelsea's most recent offering.
If Spurs are known to beat around the bush in the transfer market, Chelsea are renowned for going straight in for the kill. This appears to be no different with the West London club according to TeamTalk.com offering €30 million, just shy of Villa's asking price of €40 million, to bring Grealish to Stamford Bridge.
Though Villa have been adamant that nothing less than the asking price will do for their star man, they will find it hard to refuse Chelsea's package, which also includes the option to take their man back on loan next season.
It has been a policy of Chelsea's over the last few years to buy players young and then loan them out with the initial plan clearly to blood them in after they've picked up a few more years of experience.
Regularly, however, these players become forgotten figures as time moves on a la Marko Van Ginkel, Lucas Piazon and Nathaniel Chalobah.
However, it would still represent a positive move for Grealish and undoubtedly for Villa, who'd get to hold on to their star man while footing some of that £40 million debt that they face.