A report in Italy claims Chelsea are attempting to usurp Manchester City by making an 11th-hour swoop to sign Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.
The 25-year-old has been linked with a move to the Etihad all summer and it was thought the deal was close. Villa do not want to sell the England international and are demanding a huge fee for his services. At one stage it appeared as though the West Midlanders would not play ball over the local star.
But rumours persist that the united front of wanting to keep their prized asset is just a ruse to drive up his price. There is still nothing to report on any official City bid.
And now TMZ (via Caughtoffside) are suggesting that the Blues are about to launch their own assault for the schemer. It is said that the Premier League champions will have to pay £88m for the Birmingham-born ace.
Chelsea would need to match or better that number to stand any chance of landing the attacking midfielder. Thomas Tuchel guided the west London outfit to Champions League glory in 2020-2021.
And the German is clearly refusing to rest on his laurels if rumours of a Grealish bid are true. The former Notts County loan man has taken his game to new levels over the past few seasons.
And there is a sense that the best is yet to come as he enters his peaks years as a footballer.
City still hold aces over Grealish capture
Grealish has made it clear just how much he loves playing for the Villa Park outfit. He is born and bred in Birmingham and is clearly the club’s talisman.
Injuries plagued him last season but he still managed seven goals from 27 appearances in all competitions. And the man with 12 England caps has found the net 32 times from 213 Villa outings.
But his contribution extends way beyond just scoring goals with many assists to his name. Having made the England squad for Euro 2020, he was used sparingly by the Three Lions.
Gareth Southgate chose to use him as a substitute late in games. And he did not see as much action as the hype surrounding him suggested he would.
The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 star is a driving force in the centre of the park. Pep Guardiola wants that quality in his ranks.
So does Tuchel, according to the report, but City still look firm favourites for his signature.
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