Jack Grealish was more than willing to sign for Manchester United last summer – but it’s claimed the Aston Villa star has since had a change of heart and would now prefer to sign for one of their closest rivals.
The Villa talisman finds himself a man in demand for the second successive summer. Last season, he was heavily linked with United as they pondered meeting his huge valuation. Ultimately, United instead signed Donny van de Beek and opted to pursue a deal for Jadon Sancho.
Sancho ultimately stayed at Dortmund, though there is strong talk that deal will be resurrected this summer. It’s a similar story for Grealish. Indeed, a report earlier this month stated United players prefered a move to bring the Villa man to the club ahead of Sancho.
However, United are no longer alone in their admiration for Grealish. To that end, the England star is also being linked with Manchester City. In fact, it’s claimed they are readying a British record £100m deal to sign him this summer.
And it seems a move to the Champions League finalists is Grealish’s preference now, according to The Athletic.
Their reporter Sam Lee claims people close to the Grealish situation believe that’s the transfer option that most appeals. He says he’s won over by the attraction of regular Champions League football and challenging for the game’s biggest prizes.
Furthermore, they report Pep Guardiola is an enormous fan of Grealish and rates him as one of the Premier League’s outstanding stars.
In addition, The Athletic believes that Villa are not actively looking to sell. However, they state a move can be forced if Grealish were to pursue it.
The report also raises the prospect of City potentially offering Villa a couple of their players in part exchange.
It’s reported that regardless of whether they’d accept a move to Villa or not, City will try and reshape their squad this summer. To that end, both Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling were linked with a blockbuster £120m double move over the weekend.
Grealish bagged six goals and assisted 10 others in 26 Premier League games this term. His importance to Villa cannot be understated; Villa only won three of the 12 games he missed, losing six.
Villa take lead in Buendia race
Aston Villa, meanwhile, look set to sign the £40m race to sign Norwich star Emi Buendia.
The 24-year-old Argentine is fresh off a truly superb campaign that helped spearhead the Canaries back to the Premier League. In 39 league outings last season, Buendia notched 15 goals and 17 assists as he took his game to another level.
Both Arsenal and Aston Villa have been credited with interest. But the latest report from Football Insider has painted a bleak picture for the Gunners.
With Mikel Arteta’s focus firmly on Martin Odegaard, the publication reveal Villa are ‘confident they have edged ahead of Arsenal’ in the hunt.
Progress since the season concluded is said to have been made. In further good news, the financial make-up of such a deal may be more buyer-friendly than first thought…
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