Manchester City lead rivals Manchester United in the race to secure the services of Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.
The Red Devils’ pursuit of the England man was no secret last summer, though their refusal to cough up the £100m Villa demanded for their captain meant any potential deal was off the table.
Ultimately, it was a summer of frustration for United as they also missed out on Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho, though with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to add to his attacking arsenal at the end of the season, there’s a good chance United could return for the England duo.
However, they’ve now been dealt a major blow, with neighbours Manchester City now favourites to sign Grealish.
The Daily Mail report that the Premier League champions-elect are monitoring the Villans skipper with a view to a summer move, and their financial clout could be the difference between their pursuit and United’s.
City boss Pep Guardiola is a known admirer of Grealish, previously describing the 25-year-old an ‘exceptional talent’, though he’s also played down speculation linking City with a move for the England international in the past, claiming the price tag set by Villa is simply too high.
Villa’s stance on Grealish hasn’t changed throughout the prolonged saga, with the club insisting they don’t want to lose the services of their captain.
His fine form this season has helped Villa steer clear of the relegation zone as they look to secure an unlikely European place, having only retained their Premier League status on the final day of last season.
Despite their obvious desire to keep hold of Grealish, there’s an acceptance within the club that if their £100m valuation of the player was met, then they wouldn’t stand in his way if he wished to move on.