Manchester United chief Ed Woodward is ready to table a £45m bid for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. The Red Devils are expected to splash the cash in the transfer window, especially after securing a top four finish and Champions League football for next season.
Grealish, alongside Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, is at the top of United’s wishlist.
The playmaker, 24, scored Villa’s crucial goal on the final day of the Premier League season to avoid relegation.
United are keen to sign Grealish, who fits their transfer philosophy of landing young, British talent.
However, Villa are set to demand around £80m for their talisman.
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Villa co-owner Nassef Sawiris, the Egyptian billionaire, will dig his heels in over Grealish this summer.
And according to the Metro, United chief Woodward and co. have discussed tabling a £45m bid for Grealish.
Their offer would include around £10m worth of add-ons, meaning Villa could receive around £55m for their star man.
It’s claimed Villa will immediately reject that proposal from United.
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After staying in the Premier League, Villa feel they have a stronger position in negotiations over Grealish.
Villa boss Dean Smith was asked about Grealish’s future immediately after it was confirmed the Midlands club had stayed up.
When asked whether Villa can keep Grealish, Smith said: “No idea. Like I said, I’ll get drunk with him I’m certainly hopeful. He’s contracted for another three or four years I think.
“I’ve said many times before, we’ve got billionaire owners and, for clubs to get the best players, they cost an awful lot of money.
“He’s an Aston Villa fan and he’ll be immensely proud he scored the goal today because he managed to keep us in the Premier League.”
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Despite many expecting Grealish to leave now the transfer window is open, ex-Villa ace Paul Merson says the playmaker could stay.
“I’m not sure, I think he might still be there,” Merson said.
“This club suits him, he can play how he wants. He’s the big fish in the little pond, it’s enjoyable for him. You go to Man United, you don’t play every week.
“You can’t play the way he does at Villa. Matt Le Tissier stayed [at Southampton] and look at the career he had. His agent will be saying let’s move on, but it’s not all about the money. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is still playing for Villa.”
United beat Leicester on the final day of the Premier League season to secure a top four finish and Champions League football for next season.
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