Aston Villa ‘sounded out Real Madrid and Man United’ over deal for Jack Grealish ‘because they preferred not to sell to Man City’ before the player pushed through move to Premier League champions after they met his £100m release clause
- Jack Grealish completed his £100m move from Aston Villa to Man City this week
- But Villa reportedly were reluctant to sell to the Premier League champions
- They ‘entered dialogue with Real Madrid and Man United’ over the England star
- But Grealish had his heart set on signing for City and Villa had to accept
- City had met a release clause in Grealish’s contract but didn’t know about it
- Grealish could make his City debut in Saturday’s Community Shield at Wembley
Aston Villa ‘opened talks with Real Madrid and Manchester United over Jack Grealish because they preferred not to sell to Manchester City’ – before finally accepting the £100million man had set his heart on the Premier League champions.
City sealed the British record signing of the 25-year-old England star this week in an almighty statement of intent ahead of the new season.
Grealish could make his debut in Saturday night’s FA Community Shield against Leicester City at Wembley after travelling down to London with his new team-mates.
Jack Grealish poses in Manchester City colours after completing his £100m move this week
It has emerged that Aston Villa were reluctant to sell to the Premier League champions but Grealish had his heart set on a move to City
But it has emerged that negotiations became increasingly fraught at the beginning of the week as Villa delayed the move as long as possible and even tried opened dialogue with other clubs.
The Athletic report that tentative talks were held with the Spanish giants but they were in no financial position to complete the deal and could only offer a player swap offer.
And though United do admire Grealish and would reportedly have considered a move next year, they too would only have been able to offer a swap deal.
They say that Villa, like many other Premier League clubs, are concerned about City’s success – they have won three of the last four titles – and financial muscle, which is damaging the competition.
Grealish is going to wear the No 10 shirt at City and could make his debut on Saturday
Aston Villa ‘opened dialogue with Real Madrid, managed by Carlo Ancelotti (left), and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s (right) Manchester United’ over Grealish before his move to City
City are also targeting the Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, who is valued at £150m, this summer.
However, Grealish’s representatives made it clear that City was the only club the player wanted to join and also that the £100m offered met a release clause in his contract.
The report adds that City didn’t actually know about the release clause and this allowed Villa to stall as long as possible, while bringing in their own signings.
Villa have signed the winger Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen for £30m and added the Southampton striker Danny Ings for around the same amount.
Pep Guardiola insisted on Friday City ‘did the deal perfectly’ and are complying with FFP rules
City are also trying to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham in another big-money deal
Earlier in the summer, they paid £40m to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City as they target qualification for Europe.
City acted in the nick of time to sign Grealish, with his £100m release clause, added to his contract last summer, set to expire this weekend.
City’s bid was finally accepted on Tuesday night after Grealish had returned to pre-season training having taken a holiday after playing for England at Euro 2020.
There was no desire on the part of Grealish, a lifelong Villa supporter, to get dragged into legal action to force through his move.
He travelled to Manchester on Wednesday and underwent a medical early on Thursday with the transfer officially announced later that day.
Aston Villa have completed the £30million signing of Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen
Danny Ings is targeting European football following his move to Aston Villa from Southampton
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