Jack Grealish linked with a move to Manchester City
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Manchester City are expected to make a £100million move for Jack Grealish – and Manchester United could end up being punished after choosing Donny van de Beek instead last summer. Pep Guardiola’s side will have to break the Premier League transfer record to land Grealish, who starred in England’s Euro 2020 win over the Czech Republic this week.
United were heavily tipped to make a £70m swoop for Grealish in last summer’s transfer window, after being linked with the Villa star throughout the previous season.
But no move materialised, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side instead spending £35m to land Van de Beek from Ajax.
But the Dutch midfielder failed to nail down a regular role and made just four Premier League starts, with speculation suggesting he could move on this summer.
Meanwhile, after staying put at Villa, Grealish signed a five-year deal – which together with his impressive performances last season has only pushed up his transfer value.
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And that has worked in City’s favour, with the Abu Dhabi-backed club in a position to smash the £89m United paid to land Paul Pogba back in 2016.
United are instead going for Jadon Sancho, who is expected to cost the Red Devils around £77m plus add-ons.
Sancho had strong season for Borussia Dortmund, scoring 16 goals and nothcing 20 assists, and will be expected to provide a huge boost on United’s right flank.
But he was warming the bench for England while Grealish was setting up Raheem Sterling’s winner against the Czechs – and that link-up could be a sign of things to come at the Etihad.
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City’s rampage to the Premier League last term showed how far they currently are ahead of runners-up United – even if Solskjaer’s side did end their rivals’ incredible 21-game winning streak in all competitions with a derby win at the Etihad.
But the signing of Grealish would add even greater depth to City’s ranks – and could stretch the gap between the Manchester giants even further.
The 25-year-old could play on the left of City’s attack, allowing the left-footed Phil Foden to play through the middle or as an inverted winger on the right – which would in turn offer extra competition to Riyad Mahrez.
Or Grealish could play as a No10 in the middle, which will keep Kevin de Bruyne on his toes.
Add Harry Kane into the mix and City’s attack is becoming a pretty frightening prospect – although it remains to be seen whether City will sign both players to take their summer spending above £200m.
Either way, United will have some catching up to do, with Chelsea expected to serious title contenders following their Champions League triumph, while Liverpool will aim to be back to their best after last season’s defensive injury disaster.
Of course, there’s no guarantee City will sign Grealish, with Villa ready to offer their skipper an improved deal less than a year after his last contract extension.
But if he does line up for Guardiola’s side next season, the Red Devils may end up regretting not prising him away from Villa Park before his transfer vaklue sky-rocketed.
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