The Aston Villa skipper and England star is on the cusp of sealing his long-awaited move to Manchester City, but things could have turned out very different for the 25-year-old
Grealish ‘to have spells on bench’ at Man City
Jack Grealish is on the verge of becoming the most expensive player in British history as Manchester City part ways with £100m in exchange for his services from Aston Villa.
The England star has only just returned from his summer break, his holiday extended given he was part of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad that reached the final of Euro 2020.
While England teammate and Tottenham star, also linked with Man City, refused to report for Spurs training as he attempts to force through a move to the Etihad, Grealish was more respectful to his Villa teammates and trained as usual.
Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)
Grealish put in a number of stellar displays for Aston Villa last season, bagging six goals and notching 10 assists in 26 Premier League matches.
However, while Grealish will line up in a sky blue City shirt next season, things could have proved to be very different had he arrived in the red half of Manchester as expected last summer.
The Daily Mail revealed just before the turn of the year that Grealish had told those close to him he was expecting to become a Manchester United player last summer.
United were touted with a mega-money £75m move for Grealish, who at that point had just helped keep Villa in the Premier League, before reportedly holding positive talks with Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.
The Norwegian manager is rumoured to have privately congratulated Grealish for a stunning individual display when Villa held United to a 2-2 draw last year, in which Grealish scored, reportedly telling him: “You were the best player on the pitch today.”
Grealish added further fuel to the rumour mill when he said: “This was my favourite goal ever. Scoring at Old Trafford. I’ve always wanted to play at Old Trafford.
“I’ve played there before in a reserve cup final but it’s not the same when it’s like that. That’s obviously my favourite ground in the Premier League.”
However, the Old Trafford hierarchy balked at Villa’s valuation of the midfielder and opted to sign Ajax star Donny van de Beek instead.
More recently, Grealish has had to save face and delete a number of tweets that show his support for Man Utd ahead of his move to their ‘noisy neighbours’.
Is Jack Grealish worth £100m? Have your say here.
As a 16-year-old, Grealish wrote: “Football is on! Please United win and City lose, I cannot watch City win the league lol, come on the Villa aswell!!”
Another read: “On route to training, finally I’m back training n the suns shining, absolutely BUZZING for the game tonight, come on u reds #United’.”
Obviously, any affiliation Grealish had with United will be quashed upon confirmation of his move to City, but the Old Trafford faithful will find it difficult to not sit and wonder what could have been when they watch him in the Blue half of the city next season.
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