Aston Villa called Manchester United and Real Madrid to discuss a transfer for Jack Grealish before his move to Manchester City, a report claims.
The 25-year-old made history this week by securing a British record move to the Etihad Stadium. Indeed, his £100million deal came in as a record for the Premier League too. City boss Pep Guardiola has said that the attacker’s best years are ahead of him and that he can reach a new level.
Meanwhile, Villa CEO Christian Purslow revealed the finer details of the move shortly after the announcement.
He revealed that the £100million fee acted as a release clause. As such, only City showed willingness to pay the sum required for Grealish.
Purslow added that he rejected a number of other proposals which did not match his club’s valuation.
However, The Athletic has now claimed that Villa themselves were trying to find other potential suitors for their star man.
The source says that they called chiefs from United and Real Madrid over potential player-plus-cash deals.
However, Grealish eventually chose City. In fact, he revealed in his first interview that he wanted to work with one of the best coaches in the world.
United have already bolstered their attack this summer with Jadon Sancho. The England international winger has signed from Borussia Dortmund for £73million.
With Raphael Varane also arriving from Real Madrid, a move for Grealish always looked a stretch for the Red Devils.
Madrid, meanwhile, have not made any major moves this summer amid their financial troubles.
They may not be in as bad a situation as fellow Spanish giants Barcelona. However, they are feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic more than many.
Grealish sends parting Villa message
Writing in an open letter to Villa fans on Twitter, Grealish sent an emotional parting message to his boyhood club’s fans.
He said it felt “impossible” to put his feelings at leaving Villa Park into words.
“Every time I put on the Villa shirt I played with my heart on my sleeve, being given the armband was both a privilege and an honour for me and my family and I’ve loved every minute of it.”