Pundit claims Man City stars won’t want to join Villa in Grealish swap

Date published: Friday 2nd July 2021 4:00 - Robert McCarthy

Gabby Agbonlahor does not believe that any of the Manchester City stars mentioned in a possible swap with Jack Grealish would move to Villa Park this summer.

The England midfielder is on City’s radar, along with Tottenham striker Harry Kane, and reportedly told friends back in April that he would be interested in a move to the Etihad. However, former Villa frontman Agbonlahor does not believe a player trade will happen.

The Athletic reported last month that City are willing to offer Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte and Riyad Mahrez as potential makeweights in a potential deal for Kane. Indeed, a £100million bid has already been turned down by Spurs for their talisman.

The Manchester Evening News then stated that City were ready to bid the same sort of figure for Grealish.

But asked whether the likes of Jesus or Mahrez could be part of a potential deal, Agbonlahor told Football Insider: “No disrespect to Aston Villa but I don’t see any of those players wanting to come to Villa.

“They’ve just won a league title and played in the Champions League final. They’re not going to want to come to Aston Villa.

“I don’t see that happening, I think it would just be a straight £100million cash deal, not a part-exchange deal.”

Mahrez was not a regular starter for City last term but he still notched an impressive 14 goals and nine assists.

Jesus, meanwhile, scored 14 times in 42 appearances in all competitions and has been strongly tipped to be part of any Kane swap deal between City and Tottenham.


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Villa move for Arsenal man still on

Meanwhile, Villa have been granted some hope of securing the signing of Emile Smith Rowe this summer after one observer told them the “door remains open” over a deal.

Villa have already begun the task of transforming their midfield this summer. They may already have agreed a club-record deal for Emiliano Buendia, but boss Dean Smith is already eyeing more. In fact, his side are supposedly looking to make a ‘massive’ move for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse.

To complete a star trio, Smith also wants to sign star Arsenal youngster Smith Rowe. However, after having an initial £25million bid turned down, they have faced similar Gunners rejection with another bid.

Emile Smith Rowe talented Arsenal playmaker

Amid all the claims about Villa, there’s also a school of thought that states Smith Rowe will soon sign a new deal at Arsenal.

Despite his tender age, the 20-year-old proved influential in turning Arsenal’s dire season around.

After being given the nod against Chelsea over Christmas, Smith Rowe did not look back. He ended up making himself a regular under Mikel Arteta.


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Smith-Rowe hope still alive

Nonetheless, his future remains under the spotlight. To that end, one pundit even suggested they could spend as much as £50m to sign him.

Former Villa boss Alex McLeish also believes there’s a chance Smith Rowe could join the Villans.

Speaking to Football Insider, he insists the saga is not over by any stretch.

“It sounds like the door is still open, doesn’t it?” he stated.

“When you see Villa have gone back in with an increased offer it’s almost like it’s not enough. If somebody says it’s not enough, then that means we should offer more.

“If Arsenal come out with a cutting: ‘He’s not for sale,’ then perhaps Villa won’t bother upping the ante.

“It seems like the fact that they’ve gone back in a couple of times now with an improved offer, they’ve said it’s not enough.”

 

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