England international Jack Grealish has opened up on his failed transfer to Man Utd and called his Man City move a ‘win-win’.
The left winger came through the ranks at boyhood club Aston Villa. After spending a season on loan at Notts County, he returned to make his mark for the Villans in the 2014-15 campaign.
Over the next few years, Grealish became an integral player for the West Midlands outfit. He was soon named captain, helping them to gain promotion to the Premier League in 2019.
Grealish’s record of 17 goals and 20 assists over the following two seasons meant it was no surprise when big clubs came looking for his signature.
Man Utd were hoping to land the attacker, only for a deal to fall through in the summer of 2020.
During an interview with The Telegraph, Grealish was quizzed about the potential move to Old Trafford.
“I was really close to going, but nothing happened in the end,” he said. “We played United in a pre-season game on Saturday and I wasn’t supposed to play in a cup game at Burton.
“But after the United game I said to Christian Purslow [Villa’s CEO] and my agent, ‘if I’m not leaving, I’ll sign my new contract’.
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“I went in with my dog on Tuesday morning, signed the deal, and played later that day.”
The star’s long-term contract included a release clause worth £100m, for Champions League clubs only.
Reigning Prem champions Man City matched it in August, making Grealish the most expensive British player of all time.
“We all agreed on the clause and if any team hit that, it’s a win-win because it means I’ve had an unbelievable season and Villa got £100m,” Grealish added.
Guardiola analyses Grealish start
Grealish is in contention to play against his former club for the first time when City travel to Villa Park on Wednesday.
At the pre-match press conference, Guardiola said: “He started perfectly. It’s easy because he knows many English players and the other guys are nice people.
“Not a problem, he plays good. He needs to finish to settle and needs time.
“If you analyse games, he doesn’t play bad. The quality he has is difficult to play bad.
“The way we played and expectations. It’s different to what he lives in Birmingham. He did incredibly well there, his commitment to the club. Going to the second division to not leave and to stay and get promoted, then stay in the first season and what Villa did last season.
“Now this break come back from England injured, hopefully he comes back and step by step finds his best form.”