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Jack Grealish signs new Aston Villa contract

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Jack Grealish has signed a new long-term contract with Aston Villa.

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It seems that his wonderfully gelled hairdo will be in the Championship for a little longer.

The English playmaker, 23, was chased by Tottenham Hotspur all summer long but Grealish has signed a new five-year deal with his boyhood club as he looks to guide them back to the Premier League.

Or, you know, the new deal may have a buyout clause in it which guarantees Villa at least $45 million when Spurs come back in for England hopeful Grealish in January. Just saying.

Either way, this is a big boost for Villa after a shaky start to the 2018-19 campaign in England’s second tier.

“Securing the long-term future of Jack, a player we believe will play a pivotal role in leading Aston Villa back to where it belongs, is fantastic news for everybody associated with our football club,” Christian Purslow, Aston Villa’s CEO, said. “He is a tremendous talent who has been with us since he was a child and naturally we are delighted that he has now committed the next five years of his career to Aston Villa.”

Villa lost in the Championship playoff final last season to Fulham as Steve Bruce‘s side came agonizingly close to ending their hiatus from the Premier League, and over the summer it was doubtful Bruce would stay on amid financial turmoil at the club.

Bruce did remain as manager, and Grealish (he’s been at Villa since the age of eight) wasn’t sold to Tottenham as new Egyptian owners arrived and rejected Spurs’ reported $32 million offer.

With Villa just five points behind league leaders Leeds United early in this campaign, there is plenty of time for the former European champions to surge up the standings and challenge to get back the Premier League.

Grealish will be key to Villa doing that but it appears likely that if they aren’t promoted this season he will move on from his hometown club with a host of top teams circling for his signature. At the age of 23, it would be the right time for him to test himself week in, week out in the Premier League.

There’s no doubt that Grealish, who burst onto the scene as a teenager in 2015, is set for a big future with the English national team as many believe he is the midfield playmaker Gareth Southgate has been missing in recent years. The way Grealish carries the ball and passes it has been likened to Jack Wilshere and he has a slightly more attacking edge to his game.

Grealish’s development at Villa has seen him mature and perhaps become the best player in England outside of the Premier League. Now it is time for him to either drag Villa back to the top-flight or head there himself in January 2019 or next summer.

WATCH: Aston Villa’s McGinn hits the volley of his dreams

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Witness one of the best reactions in all of sports: The “I’m not sure how I did that and I don’t have the ego to pretend I do” face.

Aston Villa’s Scottish midfielder lashed an absolutely splendid side volley home with his left foot on Saturday, giving the Midlands side an equalizer with a shot that spun like a Roberto Carlos throwback.

[ MORE: Wolves draw at Man United ]

The nine-times capped Scotland man, 23, arrived from Hibs this summer and this was quite a hello to the Championship’s score sheet (He does have a pair of assists).

As JPW points out below, the technique and patience used in waiting for the headed clearance to fall to him so far out from goal is wonderful stuff. Goal of the season stuff, though there’s still plenty of season to come.

In “Gangs of New York,” Walter McGinn had 40-some notches on his stick. Make it one for John McGinn at Villa.

Aston Villa will reportedly turn to ex-Leicester CB Huth

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Out with one Premier League champion, in with another?

Aston Villa is reportedly targeting Robert Huth to help fill the void opened by John Terry‘s move to Spartak Moscow.

[ MORE: USMNT loss to Brazil still shows hope for future ]

Younger than Terry and one of his former teammates, the 34-year-old Huth won the PL with Leicester City in 2016 but lost most of his 2017-18 season with an injury that cost him his spot in the lineup once healthy.

Villa is mid-table in points but near the bottom of the table in goals conceded (11). James Chester (ex-Hull) and center mid Mile Jedinak played center back in their last match, with Manchester United center back prospect Axel Tuanzebe at right back.

So, yeah, lots of out-of-position stuff there. Huth could help.

Report: Terry joining Europa League participants Spartak Moscow

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John Terry resisted calls to come out of international retirement during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, but he’s going to play in Russia anyway.

The longtime Chelsea defender, 37, last played with Aston Villa in its ill-fated bid to return to the Premier League.

[ USMNT-BRAZIL: Full recap | Player ratings ]

Sky Sports in Italy has the report of Terry undergoing a medical with Spartak Moscow, and notes that Terry could face former England teammate Steven Gerrard in the UEFA Europa League when Spartak faces Rangers.

Terry was decent for Aston Villa last season, and still has something left in the tank. While this means he won’t be playing with Wayne Rooney at DC United or Ashley Cole with the Galaxy, it’ll be interesting to see how long he continues playing.

He does seem like one of those “lifers” who will be one day playing third division at 44.

Thierry Henry reportedly close to becoming Aston Villa manager

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Aston Villa was on the brink of re-joining the Premier League in May, but their efforts fell short in their playoff final against Fulham.

[ MORE: Mahrez, Sane eager for Man City glory ]

With a recent surge of financial backing, the club could be turning in a different direction at manager, with a former Premier League legend in mind.

Several outlets have reported that the Villans are close to replacing manager Steve Bruce with Belgium assistant and Arsenal great Thierry Henry.

The 40-year-old could be named the club’s next manager as early as this week, despite Bruce still being in charge at Villa Park.

New Villa owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are believed to have already met with Henry, who has reportedly agreed to a verbal contract with the Championship side.

Henry has been on the Belgium staff as an assistant since head manager Roberto Martinez took over the Red Devils in 2016.

Numerous betting sites have suspended wagers on Henry taking over at Villa, after odds tumbled to 1/6 in favor of the ex-striker becoming the club’s new manager.