Leeds head coach Steve Evans has hinted at a second approach for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish – but says the Premier League side are unwilling to loan him out in this window.
Evans saw an enquiry about Grealish knocked back during the emergency loan window in November and appears to have failed with another move for the 20-year-old midfielder. Grealish is one of struggling Villa’s most highly-rated youngsters but his season has been affected by disciplinary problems and his start against Sunderland last Saturday was his first for more than a month.
Villa manager Remi Garde sent him to train with the club’s development squad after Grealish was photographed on a night out after a sorry 4-0 defeat at Everton. Evans refused to comment on other transfer targets but asked to respond to fresh rumours linking him to Grealish, the United boss said: “I’ve been told by Villa that he’s not available and won’t be leaving.”
Evans, who succeeded in extending Liam Bridcutt’s loan from Sunderland on Tuesday and is working to seal the signing of Kyle Lafferty on a temporary basis from Norwich, has also been linked with Stoke forward Peter Crouch and Swansea winger Nathan Dyer. Dyer is on a season-long loan at Leicester but has played infrequently and faces fresh competition following Leicester’s £3.7m signing of Demarai Gray from Birmingham. Sources, however, believe the cost of landing either Crouch or Dyer is likely to be prohibitive.
Evans said he was hopeful of concluding further additions quickly but suggested that more players were likely to be available after Saturday’s FA Cup third-round matches. “There’s a full programme of midweek Premier League fixtures next week so a lot of clubs will use fringe players this weekend,” Evans said.
“We’ve had conversations where people have said ‘come back to us Sunday, Monday.’ That’s the sort of player we’re looking at so I’m prepared to be patient. I spoke at length with the owner on Tuesday night, until about 10pm, and we know what we want to do.”