According to the tabloids, Manchester City are targeting a January move for Aston Villa and England attacking midfielder, Jack Grealish. The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United all season, but Pep Guardiola and Man City are looking to beat them to the punch and add him to their ranks first.
The move, should it happen, suggests Guardiola is already thinking about next season. You’d imagine Grealish would be a great replacement for the outgoing David Silva, who will leave the Etihad following a brilliant ten year spell in the north west this summer.
City have set their number one transfer priority as a new centre-back due to their repeated defensive injury struggles. They’ve been without star defender Aymeric Laporte for the majority of the year so far and have struggled so far, conceding 25 goals in the Premier League – 11 more than champions elect, Liverpool.
Therefore, Grealish, while a big target for City, is not the main priority – which would allow Manchester United to sneak in there and pick him up before their rivals. However, it seems as though Grealish is not the main target for United either, with links to Bruno Fernandes growing more fruitful by the day. If they were to land the Portuguese star, it seems unlikely they’d also go after Grealish.
For me, Grealish is a great replacement for David Silva at Manchester City – if they can get that transfer done, I would absolutely do it if I were them. However, it seems as though it would be tough to do a deal in January – it’s unlikely Villa will be open to selling their best player mid-way through a season in which they currently sit in the relegation zone.
Grealish has six goals and five assists in the league so far this season and, as a result, has been directly involved in just under 40% of all the goals the Villains have bagged. If they were to lose him this month, it would surely mean they’re on the way down – so I don’t think they’ll sell for anything less than a frankly ludicrous amount of money.
It seems far more likely to me that City will bide their time and wait to see if Villa get relegated – if they do, you would think that Grealish’s price-tag will drop significantly. City have money to burn, but they’re usually smart with it and that seems as though it will be the logical way to approach any kind of deal for Grealish.