Jack Grealish poised to join Manchester City from Aston Villa in £100m deal
Jack Grealish is close to joining Manchester City from Aston Villa on a five-year contract. Talks are in their final stages and, barring an unexpected hitch, the playmaker will move for £100m.
Villa have tried hard to keep Grealish, offering an improved deal, but a transfer for a record fee paid by an English club is poised to be completed. The 25-year-old has spent his whole career with his boyhood team.
City are also keen to sign Harry Kane, who has stayed away from Tottenham this week in the hope of forcing a move. The Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, does not want to sell and it would take an offer substantially above the £100m already rejected for a deal to go through.
City, Villa and Grealish’s representatives are involved in the last stage of negotiations on a day when Villa added to their attacking options by signing Danny Ings from Southampton in an eye-catching £25m move. That swoop came on the same day they brought in Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen for about £30m. Villa’s manager, Dean Smith, said that Bailey, who scored 39 goals in three-and-a-half Bundesliga campaigns for Leverkusen, would bring “great pace and creativity”.
On the move for the England striker Ings, Smith told the club’s official website: “Danny is an outstanding Premier League footballer who has scored goals wherever he has played. He is also a top professional with a great character who will be a leader in our squad and a role model for our rapidly developing young academy players who are now in and around the first team.”
Villa’s outlay looks set to be financed by Grealish’s record sale. It will be City’s most expensive signing and would eclipse the largest fee paid by an English club – the £89m spent by Manchester United to bring back Paul Pogba from Juventus five years ago. United top the list of fees paid by one English club to another, too, with their £80m purchase of Harry Maguire from Leicester in 2019.
Grealish, like Kane, wants to play in the Champions League this season and secure the first trophies of his career. City have won eight trophies across the past four seasons, including the Premier League and Carabao Cup this year.
Grealish is in line to be the first summer addition to Pep Guardiola’s squad. In April it was announced that deals had been reached for the teenage forwards Darío Sarmiento and Kayky but Sarmiento has been loaned to Girona and Kayky remains with Fluminense for now.