Manchester United are ready to walk away from a deal to sign Jack Grealish after becoming frustrated by Aston Villa’s valuation.
Grealish has been a standout player in Villa’s first season back in the Premier League. The midfielder scored eight goals – including one on the final day to help keep them up. He also provided six assists from 36 appearances.
His form has seen him linked heavily with a move to a bigger club. Manchester United reportedly have Grealish on their wishlist for the summer – and the 24-year-old has admitted he is “not sure” what the future holds.
United have seen their revenues boosted to the tune of £120m by claiming a Champions League place for next season. However, that doesn’t mean they plan to splash the cash and the club are prepared to make a stand if they feel a transfer valuation is too high.
As such, Metro has highlighted a problem with United’s pursuit of Grealish. The paper claims Villa have stuck a £75m fee on the player’s head – a figure United are unwilling to meet.
Villa would have struggled to obtain that fee had they suffered relegation. But their survival gives them a stronger ability to seek what some may feel is an inflated price.
As per Metro, United are yet to make an official bid for Grealish. However, it’s claimed Ed Woodward and Co had discussed an opening offer of £45m, together with add-ons. That would have seen the deal reach a maximum of £55m – some £20m short of Villa’s asking price.
United are, as such, willing to walk away from the deal with their need for creative midfielders eased somewhat by the form of Bruno Fernandes. Like with Grealish, United too had to play the long game before settling on a fee they were happy with.
It’s thought Grealish has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford, so that gives them hope a deal could yet be sorted.
But Villa’s steadfast refusal to negotiate could make it a long and difficult process for United.
When asked about a potential move to Old Trafford earlier this month, his agent Jonathan Barnett was giving little away.
“Absolutely no deal has been done with anybody,” he told Stretty News.
“I don’t think they’re [Aston Villa] looking at the Championship themselves, they believe that, hopefully, they’ll get out of the trouble they’re in.
“Jack believes it, he’s fighting hard, as hard as he can to stop that. That’s all that is on his mind at the moment.
“He’s not interested in anything else other than fighting to get Aston Villa out of any trouble.”
However, the ever-coy Barnett did admit that Champions League football would benefit his client.
Barnett added: “On the other hand, I think as far as his career is concerned, it would be great for him to play in the Champions League and develop his great skills and I’m not sure in which country or where that will be.
“But that conversation won’t happen now because all he wants to do is fight and help Aston Villa.”
Merson unsure on Grealish future
Former Villa star Paul Merson thinks Grealish may be better suited to stay put. The Sky Sports pundit claims that the club captain would not be able to play the same way if he was to step up to the likes of Manchester United.
“I’m not sure,” Merson replied when asked if Grealish would leave Villa. “I think he might be there.
“This club suits him. He can play how he wants, he gets the ball. He’s the big fish in the little pond and everything goes through him.
“And it’s enjoyable for him – of course it is. He’s going to touch the ball 100 times a game in every single game.
“Now, you go to Man Utd, you’re not playing every week and you’re not being able to play the way you play there. You have to two touch and you have to give it and move and pass.
“I think he’s got to have a sit down and think what he wants to do with his career. It’s an important time.
“I know his agent will probably be going, ‘you know what, Jack, let’s move on, we’re going to get this and that’. It’s not all about the money, you want to be playing football week in, week out.
“He’s not assured of playing anywhere else. It’s not like the old days. You go somewhere for £50-60m, and you’re playing every week, even if you’ve got one leg. It isn’t the case now.
“You can go for £50-60m now, three bad games and you’re out of the team.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still playing for his childhood club next season, I really wouldn’t.”