The role Man City superstar Kevin De Bruyne played in aiding his side’s pursuit of Aston Villa talisman Jack Grealish has been revealed.
Widespread reports have the 25-year-old completing his move from Villa to Man City sometime on Thursday. Trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed a £100m fee has been agreed, along with a contract running until 2026.
Grealish is expected to travel to Manchester today to undergo his medical. Assuming the England international is given the all-clear, the British transfer record previously held by Man Utd will be smashed. The Red Devils currently top the charts when signing Paul Pogba for £89m in 2016.
City already boast a squad stacked with elite level talent. However, Belgian superstar De Bruyne has been revealed to have played a role in convincing City to add another top performer.
The Sun (citing the Independent) reveal De Bruyne ‘implored’ Man City to target Grealish after squaring off against him back in November.
The pair competed as England faced Belgium in a UEFA Nations League encounter. Belgium emerged victorious on the night, but Grealish apparently made a major impression on De Bruyne.
Indeed, when consulted by Guardiola over the prospect of signing the Villa ace, De Bruyne was reportedly ‘effusive’ in his praise and insisted they ‘must’ sign him.
Should Grealish’s transfer go through without a hitch, attention will quickly shift to Tottenham captain Harry Kane.
The lethal centre-forward has become the club’s preferred candidate to replace club legend Sergio Aguero. Should an agreement ultimately be reached with famed tough negotiator Daniel Levy, Grealish’s British transfer record would not last long.
Villa splash the Grealish cash
Meanwhile, Aston Villa have secured the signature of Southampton ace Danny Ings to make it two high-profile signings on the same day.
The 29-year-old former England international has agreed a three-year contract at Villa Park. He arrives on the same day Villa announced the signing of forward Leon Bailey on a deal running until 2025.
Though the amount paid was cited as ‘undisclosed’, Sky Sports’ Dharmesh Sheth suggested the figure is around the £25m mark with a further £5m in add-ons.
Earlier in the day, Jamaica forward Bailey completed a move from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported fee of around £30million.