Tottenham could have signed Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish for just £6million in the summer of 2018, according to reports.
The 24-year-old, who has risen through the ranks at Villa Park, has become one of the most sought-after players in the Premier League after his recent run of form.
Having led his side to promotion from the Championship last season, the Englishman has stepped up to the top flight impressively with seven goals and five assists in 23 outings.
As such, his value has shot up to the £80million mark with his future the subject of much speculation and debate leading into the summer transfer window.
The newspaper claims that at the end of the 2017/18 season – before Villa had been taken over by billionaire owners – Dean Smith’s side were desperate to raise funds and were willing to let Grealish go for £6million.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who was ready to go on his side’s pre-season tour, decided to board the plane instead of submitting a bid as he felt he could haggle for a best-price £4million deal.
However, it is said that when Tottenham landed in Los Angeles, Levy was met with the news that Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens were ready to pump investment into Villa.
As such, Villa bumped up their asking price for Grealish to £40million before Levy brushed off the idea of making an improved £20million bid.
It is added that Grealish was “gutted” after learning about the possibility of a move to North London.
Spurs look unlikely to follow up their interest in the midfielder after signing the likes of Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele, although Grealish is said to be a top Manchester United target.
Having signed Bruno Fernandes in January, reports have claimed that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to continue his Old Trafford rebuild with more young, hungry talent such as Grealish.
In other news, United have reportedly reignited their interest in Tottenham’s Eric Dier, who the Red Devils were keen on when Jose Mourinho was at the helm.