Reports: Manchester City will pursue Jack Grealish alongside new number nine in the summer
Speculation has been growing in recent weeks about Manchester City's chances of signing Jack Grealish this summer. City were tipped as favourites to sign the Aston Villa captain about two weeks ago by Chris Wheeler of Mail Sport. Since then, reports emerged last night from the ever-reliable Jack Gaughan, also of Mail Sport, that interest in Grealish has accelerated in recent weeks and there is hope a deal can be struck for the England international, despite Villa's wealthy owners having no desire to sell.
Villa's £100m valuation of their captain may prove to be too steep, even if City's financial situation is the best in world football, and any move may hinge on Grealish asking to leave the club and making clear that he has a particular suitor in mind - ensuring there is no bidding war, something the Birmingham club would welcome with open arms if it came to selling their talismanic figure. The question here is obviously if life-long Villa fan and hometown hero would openly push for a move and create a situation whereby the club could not maximize profits if it was made clear he only wanted to sign for one club. Personally, it seems highly unlikely.
However, there could be a gentleman's agreement or maybe even a contractual agreement within the player's new Villa contract that was signed last summer, that opens up the possibility of moving to a club in the Champions League positions for a relatively modest fee. That remains to be seen.
Speaking to The Athletic, the 25-year-old 's representative, Jonathan Barnett spoke about the summer transfer window and said he expected three or four big deals of his own to happen:
"It is going to be harder [due to the pandemic]. I’m expecting three or four very big deals of my own that will break a lot of records. Hopefully, they’ll come about. For the smaller clubs, I think there won’t be as many transfers. We have some very good players. We have probably the best young player in the world in Camavinga. We’ve got Grealish. We’ve got Konate at Leipzig. But then I’ve got over 100 players."
One thing that is clear now, though, is that City are targeting two of the most striking names in world football at the moment as their priority targets. Erling Haaland and Jack Grealish. Surely City's confidence in striking both deals isn't misplaced.