Manchester City have tabled an opening offer of £100m to Aston Villa for playmaker Jack Grealish, according to reports.
Grealish has been with Villa since the age of six and has progressed through the ranks to become club captain. There are fears at Villa Park that their long-standing association may come to an end this summer, though. After another productive season, the attacking midfielder is on the radar of some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
He was linked with Manchester United last summer before Villa managed to tie him down to a new contract. They are trying to do so again, this time to ward off Manchester City.
However, City have now upped the ante by making an opening bid that will give Villa some serious thinking to do.
According to the Daily Telegraph, City have submitted a £100m bid, which – if accepted – would make Grealish the most expensive Premier League signing of all time.
It emerged earlier this week that the two clubs were in talks over the England international. Now, City have made a strong first move.
Their pursuit of Grealish seems to indicate they have given up on signing Tottenham talisman Harry Kane. While they play in different positions, even City could not afford to sign two players rated above the £100m bracket in the same transfer window.
With Spurs standing firm over striker Kane, City have thus made playmaker Grealish their new top target.
Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of the 25-year-old and now hopes Villa will accept the offer his club have presented.
However, Villa have been planning for a season ahead that will include Grealish. Despite targeting some signings in his position, the new arrivals have been pursued with the intention of complementing, rather than replacing him.
They are willing to offer him another new contract to raise his wages even further – potentially to £200,000 per week, as per the Daily Star – but City’s opening bid may force them to reflect.
In theory, they could reinvest the money they would receive from selling Grealish into making multiple signings of their own. Therefore, they must weigh up the pros and cons of the deal.
Grealish split over move
The Manchester Evening News have also confirmed City’s £100m bid, which would eclipse the Premier League record £89m that Man Utd paid to re-sign Paul Pogba in 2016.
MEN sources close to Grealish suggest he is undecided over his future. Moving to City would allow him to win more trophies and play in the Champions League. Furthermore, it may help his chances of playing more regularly for England; he only started one game at Euro 2020.
On the other hand, he is a lifelong Villa fan. Captaining the club is a dream come true that he may want to continue.
Grealish thus has plenty to weigh up. But the first decision will be made by Villa in relation to City’s bid.