Manchester City have reportedly made Jack Grealish their top midfield target and are prepared to make the Aston Villa playmaker English football’s first £100million player.
The Premier League champions are preparing to face Chelsea in an all-English Champions League final on Saturday. However, they are refusing to rest on their laurels and want to strengthen their squad ahead of a multiple-trophy assault next season.
Prolific frontman Harry Kane is also firmly or City’s radar, after admitting he wants out of Tottenham.
Grealish was only handed a lucrative new Villa contract back in September and still has four years to go on that deal.
The report adds that Villa have no intention of selling their star man. However, if they do it will only be for a new British transfer record fee.
At this stage, it’s unclear if City will pursue a straight cash deal or offer players in exchange. That was the approach when they signed Joao Cancelo from Juventus in 2019, with Danilo a makeweight in that deal.
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City’s relationship with Villa is a good one, after they sold Douglas Luiz to Dean Smith’s men in 2019. They also have an option to buy the player back for £27.5m, although that clause expires on June 5.
There is no indication that will happen, however, with Grealish now firmly in Guardiola’s thoughts ahead of what could be a busy summer for City.
City, Liverpool chase Scottish starlet
Meanwhile, reports in Scotland claim Liverpool have taken Hibernian teenager Ethan Laidlaw on trial this week in a bid to steal a march on their rivals.
The 16-year-old has caught the eye playing in the Hibs youth teams and has yet to make his senior debut. A number of clubs have been alerted to the striker’s talents, with Leeds United already taking him on trial. And Manchester United recently showed their hand, expressing a wish to check out the youngster at close quarters.
Despite having had little exposure, Manchester City and Chelsea are also keen, according to The Herald. It could be a busy summer for the player, with big decisions to be made over his future.
The Daily Record state that he is set to arrive at Anfield this week to show what he can do. Then it will be back up to Edinburgh for a bit of soul searching.
Laidlaw is a Hibs fan and so it would be a wrench to leave his boyhood club. Hibs do not want to sell the starlet, who penned his first professional deal earlier this season.
But the lure of playing for one of the biggest clubs in Europe will be tough to resist. The extent of City’s interest is not known but the route to the Etihad first team would be tough.