If Jack Grealish wants his £100million move to Manchester City this summer, then he’ll need to tell Aston Villa that he wants out.
The Villans’ captain is wanted by Pep Guardiola and the Premier League champions
City are ready to smash their transfer record to take him to the Etihad – regardless of their interest in England captain Harry Kane.
Now they have been suitably encouraged by the player’s representatives, the Stellar Agency, that a post-Euro 2020 deal can be done and that Grealish himself wants to unite with Kevin de Bruyne and co.
That’s why Friday morning saw reports aplenty – initially led by the Daily Mail and soon followed up elsewhere, including the Manchester Evening News – about a potential move.
It’s key to note, those reports all came from the City side of the table.
At the other end, sit Aston Villa and their billionaire backers who are already splashing the cash themselves this summer as they bid to build on last season.
Wes Edens and co-owner Nassef Sawiris have already dished out £35million to take Argentina international Emi Buendia to Villa Park after a standout season in the Championship with Norwich City.
That move was not thought to be in any way related to a potential Grealish exit when it went through earlier this month – nor it’s claimed is their pursuit of Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe – despite City’s long-standing interest.
“There are many clubs (interested) and I wouldn’t put [Manchester] United at the top of that (list), Grealish’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, said back in May when asked about interest in his client from the Red Devils.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and a month down the line, it’s clear who was forth most in his thinking.
Tellingly, Barnett also added: “But he could stay. He could stay as well so it’s a conversation the club, Villa, will have with Jack and ourselves then we’ll see where we go.
“He loves Villa but I think we just have to wait and see how things pan out.”
As far as Villa are concerned, that’s where things currently stand.
They know Grealish is integral to any hopes they have of progressing up the table in 2021-22, of challenging the established Premier League order and have been in discussions over another new contract.
Of course it’s only nine months since he last signed a five-year deal, but Grealish’s performances since, and his breakthrough at international level – not to mention City’s growing interest – warranted a further look.
Only when City arrive with an offer or Grealish tells them he wants out, will the game change.