May 7, 2020
Manchester United are reportedly set to step up their £50 million pursuit for Aston Villa attacking midfielder Jack Grealish. The 24-year-old has allegedly been on United’s wish list ahead of the summer transfer window opening, which will obviously be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, which suspended world football in March.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be a big fan of Grealish and has had scouts watching the player for much of the season. Despite the country in lockdown for the past seven weeks, the fact that the player broke the Government imposed rules has seemingly not gone against the player ahead of a proposed summer move from Villa Park.
Grealish was fined £150,000 by Villa in March and forced to apologise after attending a friends party and crashing his car, and breaking the Government imposed coronavirus restrictions. Solskjaer has reportedly only heard good things about the player as he looks to overhaul his squad ahead of the 2020/21 season, which could also be delayed.
Since he arrived at United as the caretaker manager, then give the job permanently, Solskjaer has sought the right players to add to his team and has so far signed Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes on a permanent basis, signing Odion Ighalo on a six-month loan spell during the January transfer window.
United had previously been left with players who had contributed to the clubs problems on the pitch ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012/13 season, which is also the last time they lifted the Premier League title. United are said to be the favourites to sign Grealish this season after tracking the player for the past 18-months.
It is expected that Villa would seek to bring in around £70 million for Grealish this summer but United believe that £50 million would be enough, especially if the Birmingham club were relegated after a season back in the Premier League. The club is currently 19th in the table, two points clear of Bournemouth, Watford, and West Ham United.
During the 2019/20 season, before coronavirus suspended world football, Grealish has made a total of 31 appearances playing in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup, scoring nine goals and assisting a further eight. The 24-year-old predominantly plays as a left-winger but can play as an attacking midfielder, a second striker or in central midfield.
United would probably try to utilise the player as a right-winger, given that the pursuit of Jadon Sancho could well be shelved this summer because of the ongoing pandemic which will affect the financial markets related to football and the fact that United would not commit a large chunk of their budget on one player, let alone a club record fee.
However, that said, the future of Paul Pogba, which seems to be up in the again for the third time, could see the player form a creative partnership with Bruno Fernandes next season, which would give United a good amount of creativity from the midfield, leaving the right-wing a problem for the manager to solve with another player or at another time.