Manchester City step up their pursuit of Jack Grealish by opening transfer negotiations with Aston Villa over £100m-rated playmaker as England star gears up for crunch talks over his future with the club’s hierarchy
- City boss Pep Guardiola has long admired the 25-year-old England international
- Aston Villa are holding out for £100m and have no desire to sell the midfielder
- They will offer him a new bumper contract in an effort to convince him to stay
Manchester City have made their opening move for Aston Villa‘s £100million-rated captain Jack Grealish.
The Premier League champions are keen to sign the England star this summer and have now made initial contact with Villa over the structure of the deal.
Grealish is expected to hold crunch talks over his future with the club’s hierarchy when he reports back for pre-season training next week.
Manchester City are ready to test Aston Villa’s resolve over £100m-rated Jack Grealish
The 25-year-old midfielder has been on holiday in Mykonos after helping England reach the Euro 2020 final.
Villa have no desire to sell their 25-year-old talisman unless a British record £100m valuation is met and will offer him a bumper new contract worth more than £150,000 a week in an effort to convince him to stay.
But if Grealish indicates that he wants to leave then City are expected to offer around £75m plus add-ons as Pep Guardiola attempts to prise away one of English football’s biggest talents.
It is unclear whether Villa would accept such a structure to the deal and could instead ask for a greater fee, or even the whole figure, up front.
Grealish (right) is currently on holiday in Mykonos with his England team-mates including Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell (left)
However, City are determined to press for a player long admired by Guardiola in the hope an agreement can be reached swiftly.
Grealish signed a new contract at Villa in September after being courted by Manchester United.
There has been much speculation of a £100m buyout clause in that deal although neither side have ever confirmed its existence.
Yet there is a growing acceptance that that figure must be met by City before they can team Grealish in a dream midfield with his favourite Premier League player Kevin De Bruyne.
Sportsmail understands Grealish’s camp are hopeful an agreement can be struck soon with the new Premier League season just over two weeks away.
Villa have no intension of selling their captain unless their valuation of £100m is met
Sportsmail revealed in March that City had emerged as frontrunners for Grealish’s signature and they still hold out hope they can sign £150m-rated Harry Kane from Tottenham also.
City have £45m from the sale of Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich last year and have raised around £50m from the sale of fringe players this summer.
More are due to be sold while there is an acceptance that the likes of Bernardo Silva could yet leave before the end of the window to further offset their outlay.
Sportsmail revealed in March that City had emerged as frontrunners for Grealish’s signature and they still hold out hope they can sign Harry Kane (right)
The signing of Grealish would be a real statement of intent as they look to retain the title and go one step further in the Champions League.
For their part, Villa have been working to strengthen their own squad regardless.
They signed Emi Buendia from Norwich City for £33m, Ashley Young on a free and have had a £25m bid rejected for Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey as they continue to assemble a squad that can challenge for European qualification.