Amid reported interest from Chelsea, Paul Lambert has told teenage winger Jack Grealish that Aston Villa is the best place for him to develop his career.
Considered the club’s brightest prospect, Grealish, 19, has made his first-team breakthrough with Villa this season, but the Birmingham-native’s contract is set to expire next summer, and Chelsea are understood to be monitoring the situation.
Lambert, however, is confident of securing him to a new long-term deal at Villa Park, where first-team opportunities will be more plentiful than in Jose Mourinho’s star-studded squad.
‘We’re talking to the respective parties about those so let’s see what happens,’ he told the Birmingham Mail.
‘Jack is developing. He’s nowhere near the finished article but this is the best place to be because he’s getting a chance to be around the first team.
‘He’s getting little bits here and there. But he’s still so far from being an established player.
‘He’s developing, which is great, and hopefully something will be done.’
A lifelong Villa fan, Grealish has already been offered a new four-year deal at the club, and has made it known that he hopes to remain in the midlands for the foreseeable future.
Having spent the majority of the 2013-14 campaign on loan at League One side Notts County, the promising Republic of Ireland under-21 international has impressed during his four appearances so far this season, and the claret and blue faithful are eager to see what he can do with more top-flight minutes.