Chelsea to open talks with Jack Grealish

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Chelsea are ready to open talks with Aston Villa wonderkid Jack Grealish after the 18-year-old stalled on signing a £5,000-a-week deal with his current employers.

This is according to the Metro, who cite the Daily Star, with the report adding that Chelsea hope to bring the teenager to Stamford Bridge when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Villa could be forced to sell

Aston Villa may be forced to sell the talented winger at the turn of the New Year if Grealish indicates that he has no intention of signing a contract extension at Villa Park.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international’s contract expires next summer, meaning Chelsea - or any other interest club - could secure his services at the end of next season for a minimal compensation fee unless Villa decide to cash-in beforehand.

Related links

Cleverley says joining Villa was an easy decision
Ake reveals Mourinho wanted to keep him at Chelsea

Roy Keane is a big fan

Grealish is considered one of English football’s top prospects - and his ability was hailed last week by the current assistant manager of both the Republic of Ireland and Aston Villa: Roy Keane.

The youngster has represented Ireland at Under-21 level, but is still eligible to play for England at senior level. But Keane is desperate to see Grealish wearing the famous green jersey in the future, and revealed that Ireland boss Marin O’Neill has already had discussions with the Chelsea target.

"All I know is the manager has met with him and I speak with him,” Keane told RTE. "He is a really good player - I think he is playing for the Under-21s tomorrow night and he will have a decision to make when he is ready.

"But obviously, we are not putting him under pressure. We would love to have him on board - he is a really, really good player.

"We know we haven't got a massive group of players to pick from, so if he comes on board, it would be absolutely fantastic because I think he has got a chance of being a good player."

Grealish to be offered first-team football?

Keane can, of course, be an intimidating figure - particularly in the eyes of a young player - so it will be interesting to see whether Grealish performs a U-turn and puts pen-to-paper on a deal with Villa before January.

The winger enjoyed a productive loan spell with Notts County during the 2013-14 campaign, scoring five goals in 39 appearances, and has made three Premier League appearances for Villa over the past two seasons.

Villa boss Paul Lambert may consider offering Grealish regular first-team football over the forthcoming weeks in an effort to convince him to sign a new contract and reject a move to Chelsea.

The youngster will know that his chances of securing first-team action at Stamford Bridge are incredible slim - the Blues currently have an absurd 26 players out on loan - but could still be tempted to join Jose Mourinho’s side if they offer enough money.

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