MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 01:25:04| >> :120:10259:10259:
May 27, 2019 at 3pm UK at Villa Park
Attendance: 85,826
Aston Villa
DerbyDerby County
El Ghazi (44'), McGinn (59')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Waghorn (81')

Glenn Whelan hopeful promotion will help Aston Villa keep Jack Grealish

Glenn Whelan hopeful promotion will help Aston Villa keep Jack Grealish
© Reuters
Grealish has been linked with a move away from the club.

Aston Villa midfielder Glenn Whelan believes winning promotion to the Premier League could hold the key to Jack Grealish staying at Villa Park.

Grealish, born in Birmingham and a Villa fan, has been heavily linked with a move away from his boyhood club since they were relegated from the top flight in 2017.

Tottenham failed with a bid to sign him last summer, making their move too late in the transfer window as the takeover went through, and the Champions League finalists are reported to be set to renew their interest in the 23-year-old attacker.

Many observers feel Grealish will be playing in the Premier League next season, regardless of whether Villa win Monday's Championship play-off final against Derby.

Whelan thinks victory at Wembley and the chance to captain Villa in the Premier League would be an enormous incentive for Grealish to remain at the club.

"He is Villa through and through," said Whelan. "Jack wants to play in the Premier League and he wants to play as high as he can, but he will be the first one to tell you he wants to do that with Villa.

"If we get to the Premier League, it should not be a problem. We all want Jack to play in the Premier League. I am sure it will be the greatest occasion for him if he can captain the team and get us up to the Premier League."

Whelan's own future could be just as uncertain. The 35-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has yet to discuss a new deal.

He insists he still has much to offer but the Irishman's only concern at the moment is the play-off final against Derby.

"It's not an issue. I have not spoken to the manager," said Whelan. "I am never knocking on doors or busting down doors to find what is happening.

"If we get the win, something will happen. I am worried about Monday and getting the right result before anything else."

Villa are in the play-off final for the second year running. They missed out on an immediate return to the Premier League after they lost 1-0 to Fulham 12 months ago.

Many members of that squad remain at the club and Whelan insists Villa can use that defeat to spur them on this time round.

"If you saw how we all were afterwards, it is definitely motivation to go out and turn things around," he said.

"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League, it is the best league in the world. For us to be one game away, we have to use it as motivation and embrace everything which comes with it.

"We have to try and enjoy it and if we get the right result we will be heroes. On the opposite side of that, if you don't get it done then it is a massive disadvantage.

"We will be using it to our advantage, what happened last year. It is different now, a different manager and a different mentality. We will be worrying more about ourselves rather than worrying about Derby."

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Aston Villa manager Dean Smith watches his cat do a whoopsie on his beret on April 22, 2019
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United StatesUnited States14171142
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10141034
Great BritainGreat Britain79925
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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Pre-Season Friendlies
Olympic Games Men's Football
Scottish Premiership
Portuguese Super Cup
Taca da Liga
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
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Belgian Pro League
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Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
Ligue 2
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Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
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