Man Utd have been handed a blow in their quest to sign a Premier League playmaker after the club involved firmed up their stance following recent actions by Man City.
That move appears to have had unintended consequences for the red half of Manchester, however.
Man Utd have been frequently linked with attacking additions in the current window, most notably Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish.
While Sancho undoubtedly remains the club’s top priority, Grealish has been touted as an alternative should Sancho not sign.
The notion of signing both has been suggested, though that would largely depend on economical spending regarding their fees.
Following Villa’s last day survival, Grealish is unlikely to be sold on the cheap, and the latest report from The Daily Express (who cite the Sunday Mirror) reveals Man City’s influence on proceedings.
Their article states that Villa are ‘remaining stubborn’ over their £80m valuation, spurned on by the fee reported for Ake.
Villa are described as having monitored that deal closely, and believe Grealish is worth ‘double the fee’ of Ake’s.
Grealish has showed little desire to depart his boyhood club. Though should Man Utd stump up the cash Villa require, it would undoubtedly be a difficult prospect to turn down.
Red Devils open €30m centre-back talks
Meanwhile, Manchester United have reportedly held talks with the agent of Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes ahead of a proposed move.
Sky Sports had earlier claimed that the defender’s representatives were in the UK to discuss a transfer with two Premier League clubs.
Bouhafsi added on Sunday that United, Everton and Napoli have been joined by an unnamed fourth club.
The former Brazil Under-20 international is currently valued at €30m (£27m). But that price could go up if a bidding war begins for the talented defender.