Premier League giants warned off Villa star Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish will not be leaving Aston Villa in the January transfer window, manager Dean Smith vowed on Friday as he issued a hands-off warning to the Premier League big guns.
The 24-year-old, who has shone for Villa since their return to the top division, has been linked with clubs including Manchester United.
However, Villa are determined Grealish will remain a key player for them, with Smith saying they will not entertain bids for the Birmingham-born midfielder.
"I think he's a big target for many teams and you can see why," said Smith, whose side head to Fulham in the FA Cup on Saturday.
"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."
Villa have lost striker Wesley and goalkeeper Tom Heaton to season-ending knee injuries, which is set to influence the club's transfer activity this month.
Smith said he would hold talks with sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch and chief executive Christian Purslow ahead of the trip to Craven Cottage.
"It will probably hasten what we do in the market," Smith said. "I’ll sit down with them and see what we’re going to do and how quickly we’re going to do it."