Roy Keane has described Aston Villa and England midfielder Jack Grealish as being “like Cristiano Ronaldo” amid links with a move to Manchester United.
Grealish has been on United’s radar for a long time after impressing with Villa since their return to the Premier League. They wanted to sign him last summer, only to see Villa tie him down to a contract until 2025. But the Red Devils are not giving up their pursuit.
At present, it does not seem United are the favourites to sign Grealish. Instead, there have been plenty of rumours recently about rivals Manchester City making a move for him.
But one man who would surely rather see him end up on the red half of Manchester is Keane.
Speaking during ITV‘s coverage of England’s 1-0 friendly win over Austria, which Grealish started, Keane compared Grealish’s influence to that of five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo.
“He’s a pure quality player,” Keane said. “Every time I watch him play, he affects the game.
“I’d find it very hard to leave him out of the starting XI. He could be the star man for England, he makes things happen.
“He has courage and always wants the ball in tight areas. Like Cristiano Ronaldo at Portugal, you need players like that in your team. He’s outstanding.”
Grealish prefers City move
United may face disappointment in the race to sign Grealish, as it recently emerged that his preference is City.
The Athletic reporter Sam Lee claimed people close to the Grealish situation believe that’s the transfer option that most appeals. He says he’s won over by the attraction of regular Champions League football and challenging for the game’s biggest prizes.
Furthermore, Pep Guardiola is an enormous fan of Grealish and rates him as one of the Premier League’s outstanding stars.
The Athletic believe that Villa are not actively looking to sell. However, they state a move can be forced if Grealish were to pursue it.
The report also raises the prospect of City potentially offering Villa a couple of their players in part exchange.