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Manchester City are reportedly ready to smash the Premier League transfer record to land Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.
City boss Pep Guardiola is a known admirer of Grealish, who England fans are desperate to see more of at Euro 2020 squad after he enjoyed another stellar season for Villa.
The 25-year-old was linked with a move to Manchester United last summer, but stayed at Villa Park to sign a new five-year deal.
However, mega-rich City are prepared to pay English football's biggest ever transfer fee to prise the attacking midfielder away, according to The Telegraph.
It is claimed that negotiations with Villa over Grealish are expected to be more straightforward than talks over Tottenham star Harry Kane, who is also a City target.
Guardiola is said to be so keen on landing his man that City will go beyond the £89m United paid for Paul Pogba to make Grealish the most expensive player in Premier League history.
The City boss described him as "incredible" following a clash against Villa last year – also praising him for his loyalty to the club.
"He’s incredible. A top player," said Guardiola. "I’m happy he stayed in the Championship to defend his club when he could have gone.
"He’s a talented player who always creates something. An exceptional player but too expensive for Manchester!"
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He continued with the charm offensive in the New Year, saying: "He’s an exceptional player, I didn't know him before I came here, he was playing in the Championship. Honestly, an exceptional player.
“They have one of the best players in the league in Jack Grealish."
Grealish has drawn comparisons with England legend Paul Gascoigne – although he has so far only been used as a late sub by Gareth Southgate at Euro 2020.
The midfielder came off the bench late on during Friday's draw with Scotland at Wembley, amid a clamour for him to start for the Three Lions which has been backed by Alan Shearer.
And England boss Southgate has hinted at changes for Tuesday's crucial Group D showdown against the Czech Republic.
"You can see Jack Grealish's ability to take players on one on one," said Southgate after Friday's 0-0 draw. "I felt the team that started against Croatia deserved to go again so we have to review now and make the right decision for the Czech Republic game.
"The games are intense and you have fresh legs to bring into play, we have a squad and have to use it. We took the captain Harry Kane off but the types of players on the bench, we have to use them."
- Gareth Southgate
- Harry Kane
- Paul Gascoigne
- Paul Pogba
- Pep Guardiola
- Premier League
- Euro 2020
- Manchester City FC
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