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McGinn & Grealish will not be sold in January - Smith

22:15 GMT+3 23/11/2019
Jack Grealish Aston Villa
The Villa captain and the Scotland midfielder have impressed in the Premier League this season and the club are determined to keep them

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has warned that the club have no intention of selling star players Jack Grealish and John McGinn in January.

The pair have been pivotal players for the Premier League side, having signed new long-term contracts earlier this season.

But their impressive performances have caught the attention of several top sides, as 24-year-old Grealish was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham in the summer while Scotland star McGinn has reportedly attracted interest from Manchester United.

Smith, however, insists Villa are not ready to let either of them go as they are crucial to their ambitions of breaking into the top six. 

"There's been a lot of speculation about a lot of our players," he told Sky Sports when asked about their hopes of holding on to their star players.

"But we've two owners who want to build a football club, challenging in the top half of the table, and top six in a few years' time.

"To do that you have to keep your best players and I've no doubts in my mind the owners will want to keep those players.

Although McGinn, 25, has scored three times in the Premier League this season, he has not found the net for his club since late September. He has been clinical for Scotland, however, netting six times in three games i their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

And Smith hopes the midfielder can be as clinical for Villa too, as he just keeps getting better.

"Hopefully John will go and get a few for us now he has hit the goal trail. He said to me: 'If you need to throw me up front you can do'.

"He's improving every game he plays. He works hard in training, he's scoring goals at international level as well, so he just needs to keep on with that improvement.

"I've no doubt he will because he has a great head on his shoulders. He's an intelligent boy, but on top of that he's a really good lad in the dressing room."

Villa are 17th in the table and lie just one point above the relegation zone ahead of their game against Newcastle on Monday.