Exclusive – Manchester United have received a glowing review from Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce on Jack Grealish, as the club continue to work on a deal for the Aston Villa midfielder.
United overhauled their entire scouting procedure for the current season after growing frustrated with high-profile transfer mistakes, including the deals to sign Bastian Schweinsteiger, Alexis Sánchez and Ángel Di María.
Part of the problem was not paying enough attention to a player’s personal life and behaviour away from the pitch. To combat that, 90min has learned that United have contacted Bruce, a former United player and captain, for a review of Grealish.
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Bruce worked with Grealish at Villa between 2016 and 2018 – a spell which included disciplinary issues including a late-night party which had to be shut down by police – so United want to ensure that Grealish has learned from his mistakes.
The 24-year-old was caught breaching lockdown regulations earlier this year to attend another party, but the incident is unlikely to have a major impact on United’s pursuit.
It is understood that Bruce gave a glowing review of Grealish, who has since gone on to earn the captain’s armband at Villa Park under Dean Smith.
A price tag of £80m has been thrown around, but United are waiting to see whether Villa’s stance will soften. Should the Villains drop down to the Championship, it is expected that Grealish would be available for less and would be easier to sign.
Grealish has managed nine goals and eight assists in all competitions this season, earning himself a place near the top of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s wish list this summer.
Alongside Grealish, the Red Devils are also pursuing a deal for Borussia Dortmund‘s Jadon Sancho, while Birmingham City‘s Jude Bellingham remains on their radar despite interest from the German outfit.