Steve Bruce makes Jack Grealish contract a priority for new Aston Villa chief executive

Purslow, former CEO at Chelsea and Liverpool, swept into Villa Park with tying rising star Grealish down to a new contract as his No1 priority.

The 22-year-old playmaker looked to be heading to Tottenham in a £20m deal just a few weeks ago.

But Villa’s new owners underlined their ambition by refusing to sell and gave further notice of their intent by appointing 54-year-old troubleshooter Purslow.

Manager Bruce said getting Grealish signed up on a new improved deal was a matter of priority.

“That will be one of his first jobs,” he said. “We said to Jack and his father that when the transfer window closed we would be looking at it.

“All the feedback I’ve had at the moment is that he’s keen to sign a new deal so we’ll see where we go from here.”

Bruce praised the appointment of Purslow, adding: “He’s a vastly experienced man with top clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool. That in itself shows the intent of the new owners.”

The Villa boss takes his side to former club Sheffield United desperate to eradicate the gut-wrenching Carabao Cup exit against Burton in midweek.

“I felt physically sick – and that was for 24 hours. I was appalled,” he admitted.

“We all understand that the league is our priority but that wasn’t what we wanted and I’ve got to be big enough to take it on the chin.

“It’s amazing. We’re fourth in the table and yet suddenly some people would have you believe we’re in a crisis again. We’re only ever one game from a crisis here.

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“That’s my frustration. I understand the fans being angry and I agree with them.”

But Bruce remains defiant the good times aren’t far away, adding: “We’ve got the makings of a very, very decent side.

“The further we get into the season we will get better because it’s basically a new team.”

Bruce will make changes adding: “The ones who have been knocking on my door asking why they aren’t playing, can’t knock on my door again.”



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