Manchester City are set to submit a bid of $140 million to Aston Villa for star attacking midfielder Jack Grealish, according to multiple reports out of the UK.
After reclaiming the Premier League title and coming up just short in the UEFA Champions League final in 2020-21, Manchester City are doing anything but resting on their laurels and standing pat. Pep Guardiola’s side has already reportedly offered the same fee to Tottenham Hotspur for Harry Kane this summer.
Grealish is fresh off the best Premier League season of his career (6 goals, 10 assists). At the age of 25, Grealish perhaps represents better long-term value than Kane, who turns 28 this summer and has a horrid history with ankle ligament injuries throughout his career.
What happens if Aston Villa let Grealish go?
Naturally, Aston Villa are initially resistant to the idea of selling Grealish, but money talks. As much as losing Grealish would undeniably hurt the hearts and souls of so many in the west Midlands — Who knows how long it might be before Aston Villa have another player of Grealish’s caliber? — it also presents a unique opportunity for the club: the chance to improve the rest of the squad in a number of areas.
Of course, Tottenham had the same idea back in the summer of 2013, when Gareth Bale was transferred to Real Madrid for a then-world-record fee of $115 million. The seven players — Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches, Paulinho and Roberto Soldado — who arrived at the club following his departure collectively underwhelmed as Lamela, the last remaining member of the “Magnificent Seven” as they were affectionately dubbed that summer, looks set to depart as well.
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Kane or Grealish? Grealish of Kane?
While it seems unreasonable (unlikely?) that Manchester City will be able to sign Kane and Grealish, both players would likely slot straight into Guardiola’s team and system rather quickly and comfortably given the well-rounded nature of their respective games.
Fortunately for Aston Villa fans, Manchester City look like the only club able to offer the type of money it would cost to pry Grealish away from Villa Park. Unless, of course, Manchester City end up signing Kane, thus leaving Tottenham with a cool $140 million of their own, at which point the Grealish rumor cycle begins anew.