Manchester United: City star Jack Grealish reveals he was ‘very close’ to Old Trafford move
Man City star Jack Grealish reveals he was ‘very close’ to leaving boys’ club Aston Villa and joining Manchester United, 12 months before £100m transfer to Etihad Stadium
- Jack Grealish traded Aston Villa for Man City in £100m deal last summer
- He has since revealed that he could have finished very well at Manchester United
- The City playmaker has said he was ‘very close’ to a move to Old Trafford
Jack Grealish has revealed he was ‘very close’ to joining Manchester United, 12 months before moving to Manchester City for £100 million.
Grealish became the most expensive Premier League player last summer when he moved to the east of Manchester to join Pep Guardiola.
But it turns out things could have turned out very differently if United had managed to close negotiations to lure him away from Aston Villa.
Jack Grealish (left) almost joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) at Manchester United in 2020
Twelve months later he became the most expensive Premier League player at £100million
“I was almost about to go, but in the end nothing happened,” Grealish told the Telegraph.
“We played against United in a pre-season game on Saturday and I wasn’t supposed to play in a cup game at Burton.
‘But after United’s game I said to Christian Purslow [Aston Villa’s chief executive] and my agent “if I don’t leave, I’ll sign my new contract”.’
Manchester United management took a closer look at Grealish in September’s exhibition game at Villa Park.
After a preseason exhibition game against United, Grealish (left) decided to sign a new contract
But as no deal appeared to be forthcoming on the eve of the 2020-21 season, Grealish wanted to clarify his future and ensure that Villa got a fair return when he left.
Grealish added: “I went in with my dog on Tuesday morning, signed the deal and played later that day. We all agreed on the clause and if a team makes it to that it’s a win-win because it means I’ve had an incredible season and Villa got £100million.”
Grealish was captain of his boys’ club Villa at the time, and he chose to lock in his future for another year, battling injuries to get into the England squad for Euro 2020.
United were keen on the England international but ultimately overlooked the deal and went for £73million to Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo 12 months later, when Grealish opted to go to City.
He had one more season at Villa and impressed Man City enough to approve a deal
Like Sancho at Old Trafford, Grealish has had a slow start in Manchester.
Grealish has two goals and three assists in 15 appearances for City so far this season and describes how the adjustment was more difficult than he expected when he signed.
Having been injured in recent weeks following the last international break, Grealish is hoping to regain his place on the side for City’s visit to his youth club Villa, which is his first return to Villa Park since leaving.