Manchester City want Jack Grealish but Aston Villa intend to stand firm
Manchester City have expressed strong interest in Jack Grealish but Aston Villa are determined not to sell and have opened talks with the forward over a new contract.
Grealish, who set up England’s winning goal against the Czech Republic on Tuesday to ensure Gareth Southgate’s side topped Group D at Euro 2020, is understood to have been identified as one of City’s main targets, along with Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
It is believed City are not the only Premier League suitors for Grealish after his outstanding performances helped his boyhood club to finish 11th last season. Villa, though, opened contract talks with the 25-year-old last week, nine months after he committed to a new five-year deal, and fully intend to build the team around him.
The signings of Emi Buendía and Ashley Young have been based around the belief that Grealish is staying and the club have made clear to the player’s agency that they have no intention of letting him leave.
Their resolve would be tested if Grealish asked for a transfer, and City plan to bid for him as they try to augment the squad that won a third Premier League title in four seasons but was defeated by Chelsea in the Champions League final. Any fee for Grealish would likely be at least £100m.
City made an opening offer for Kane which would guarantee Tottenham at least £100m, and it is understood Pep Guardiola would like to sign him and Grealish. City are believed to be open to a players-plus-money deal for Kane but Spurs have no intention of accepting their offer for the 27-year-old, who has told the club he wants to leave.
Grealish’s arrival at City would throw into question the future of Raheem Sterling, an England teammate. Sterling is believed to be among those who could be offered to Tottenham in part-exchange for Kane, although the chairman, Daniel Levy, is not expected to accept any swap deal.