Ings signs for Villa as Grealish set to go

LONDON (AFP) – Journeyman striker and former England international Danny Ings joined Aston Villa from Southampton on a three-year deal, as the club brace for the departure of captain Jack Grealish to Manchester City, it was announced on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old arrived on the same day Villa announced the signing of Jamaican striker Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen on a deal running until 2025.

With Villa set to lose Grealish to City for a British record GBP100million, boss Dean Smith said he hoped Ings’ experience would have a knock on effect in the squad.

“Danny is an outstanding Premier League footballer who has scored goals wherever he has played,” Smith said of the former Burnley and Liverpool man.

“He is also a top professional with a great character who will be a leader in our squad and a role model for our rapidly developing young academy players.”

England’s midfielder Jack Grealish applauds fans after their loss in the UEFA EURO 2020 final football match against Italy. PHOTO: AFP

Ings scored 13 goals for the Saints last season and joins fellow summer recruits Bailey, Emi Buendia and Ashley Young at Villa Park.

City made their blockbuster bid for Grealish last Friday and it appears Villa are ready to let their captain move to the Etihad Stadium.

The Premier League champions have been linked with the 25-year-old since the end of last season.

Neither club have commented but British media claim a deal should be concluded in the next few days.

That could put Grealish in contention to make his City debut in tomorrow’s Community Shield against Leicester at Wembley.