Jack Grealish linked with a move to Manchester City
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Manchester City’s chances of signing Jack Grealish have suffered a blow as Aston Villa are reportedly hopeful of tying down the England star to a fresh contract.
Grealish was linked with a huge £100m transfer to the Premier League champions at the weekend but speculation has since simmered.
The fee would make the 25-year-old the most expensive British player of all-time.
Grealish has had an excellent two years since helping Villa win promotion back to the Premier League.
He scored eight times and provided six assists in the 2019-20 campaign.
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There were then six goals and 12 assists last term, despite him missing 12 matches with a knee injury.
His absence left him in a race against time to be fit for England’s Euro 2020 campaign but he proved his fitness by playing in the Villans’ final two top-flight fixtures.
Grealish featured twice during the Three Lions’ group stage games and his form for both club and country has earned him plenty of transfer interest.
Man City were widely reported to have been close to striking a deal for Grealish over the weekend, with a £100m deal believed to be close.
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However, the Telegraph claims that Villa are confident of securing a new contract for their prized asset to fend off transfer speculation.
Grealish only signed a fresh deal last year but could sign another this summer.
He still has four years remaining on the terms he agreed to in September.
A new contract would likely include a wage rise and would further increase his transfer value.
City boss Pep Guardiola has previously said that his side would not be able to afford Grealish, although that stance is likely to have changed.
“He’s incredible. A top player. I’m happy he stayed in the Championship to defend his club when he could have gone,” Guardiola told reporters in October of last year.
“He’s a talented player who always creates something. [Grealish] is an exceptional player but too expensive for Manchester.”
Grealish’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, was unsure where his client would be playing football next season when he was interviewed last month.
Man Utd were reported to be the favourite to sign him from Villa at the time.
“The truth is we don’t know [what will happen],” Barnett said in May.
“There are many clubs [interested] and I wouldn’t put Manchester United at the top of that [list].
“But he could stay as well. It’s a conversation the club, Aston Villa, will have with Jack and ourselves then we’ll see where we go.”
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