Dean Smith and Jack Grealish are set to shock the football world by re-uniting to form a new Aston Villa phoenix club.
Paddy Power News has learned that the two men, who are both born and bred Brummies, are in the process of securing naming rights for the new project which we understand will be called FC Aston of Birmingham.
Former boss Smith, a lifelong Villa fan who was sacked by the club last weekend following five defeats on the spin, is understood to have immediately called Grealish, who has failed to make an impression at Manchester City since his 100 million quid move in the summer, convincing him to return to his home city and help put together a squad good enough to be able to compete in the Evo-Stick Central Midlands Alliance, step 20 of the football pyramid, next season.
“Dean is a Birmingham man through and through and knows how important football is to the city” a close friend told us, “He wants to put together a side using only players who were born locally.
“His long-term plan is to have the new club competing for Champions League places by 2042.”
We understand that Smith has spent the early part of this week visiting city-centre pubs to try to secure kit sponsorship, while also looking for a local club that will be prepared to groundshare until his new charges have secured a permanent home.
“Responses have been very positive,” a spokesman told us. “Many clubs seem willing to share their facilities, even if it means Smith’s men changing in a shipping container and having to arrive two hours early for home games to clear all the dog s**t from the pitch.”
His former employers, meanwhile, are currently investigating the theft of training bibs and cones that went missing from the cleaners cupboard at Villa Park shortly after last Friday’s defeat to Southampton.
Despite having to go back to basics, it seems as though Grealish has bought into the project and will leave his current employer with the blessing of his manager;
“If Jack wants out then Pep Guardiola has already told him he won’t stand in his way and he’ll happily rip up his current contact”, a club source told us.
”The gaffer doesn’t want people in his dressing-room who aren’t 100-per-cent committed to sitting on the subs bench.”
Grealish, who was once the darling of The Holte End, fears his England place at next years World Cup in Qatar may be in jeopardy if he’s not getting regular game time.
A Three Lions insider told a Paddy Power News reporter at St George’s Park that;
“Jack loves playing for England despite being Irish and he’s desperate to show the rest of the world how good he is after a disappointing Euro 2020. He knows that Gareth Southgate will only pick players who are playing regularly for their clubs and he’s got no issues dropping down the pyramid.
“He’ll even happily take the kit home and wash it when it’s his turn, if it means it’ll guarantee him a place on the plane to Qatar in 2022,” our source confirmed.
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