Liverpool have been backed to beat Manchester United to the signing of Aston Villa star Jack Grealish, on one condition.
The two Premier League heavyweights have both been linked with a move for the Villa playmaker, but former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips believes that Jurgen Klopp’s men are in the driving seat to get the player – but only if Villa are eventually relegated when the season gets back up and running.
Dean Smith’s men currently occupy 19th place and are two points from safety, but do have a game in hand on their relegation rivals.
Last year’s Championship play-off winners have been largely inconsistent since returning to the top flight, but one of their few constants has been the outstanding form of skipper Grealish.
United were reportedly the first to show an interest in the former Tottenham target, but Phillips thinks Liverpool could do a deal if they wanted to.
He told Football Insider: “Liverpool are at a point where they can splash out on the world’s best.
“Those world’s best players want to come and play for Liverpool and Klopp.
“He plays a certain style and he will not buy someone unless it plays his system.
“The obvious one is Jack Grealish. If Villa go down I am certain he will move on.”
There have been some questions raised over whether or not the 24-year-old would be able to cut it playing for a top-six team, and Phillips has claimed that Grealish would have to adapt his game to do so.
Phillips added: “Could he play for Liverpool? He is the only one out of the bottom three or four teams that could fit in that team.
“They will certainly be targeting players from top abroad teams and around the world.”
Grealish is under contract until 2023 at Villa Park, with the club currently valuing him at around £60million.