The transfer window has not even been closed a week and Manchester United are being linked with a big money move for Jack Grealish.
The rumours have ramped up amid talk James Maddison will sign a new contract at Leicester, The Telegraph report.
Maddison’s desire to renew is likely down to United moving for Bruno Fernandes. The need to sign the Foxes attacker just isn’t there any more, not at the price it would cost.
Jack Grealish is a different proposition. He is more versatile, and can compliment Fernandes.
The Mirror report he will be United’s top transfer target in the summer.
Really, we’ve got no problem with this, he would be a terrific signing. But the speculation is getting out of control already, and it’s only February 6.
Crazy comparisons and big competition
First there was Neil Warnock this week, hyping Grealish up by comparing him to Eric Cantona.
He told Talksport: “When you think about Cantona, those players who have something magical, he fits that bill as a youngster. I think it would be a great signing. Man United are in a situation where they should just pay the money.”
Now The Sun are claiming United will face competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona in a £60 million race for Grealish’s signature.
The figure quoted is £60 million now. But by time we reach the summer, don’t be surprised to see this rise further.
So what are the options?
Time is on United’s side. There are four months until the transfer window officially opens, and United’s scouts need to get to work.
There is a risk this summer that United end up getting held to ransom and paying a silly fee like with Harry Maguire.
If Grealish stars at Euro 2020 for England, then a sky high price will be unavoidable.
So United’s recruitment team must get to work to identify a player who can bring the same attributes to the table as Grealish, for a lesser fee.
Last summer, United could have found an alternative to Maguire for half the price, if the club had scouted Europe properly. William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate were three players who could have improved the team and left millions to spare.
The problem is that United are very obvious in the transfer market, and if we had to bet, we’d assume the club pay over the odds for Grealish.
Grealish might be the best option, and detailed scouting work of other players may reinforce this, but United have duty and time to fully explore alternative options.
If Villa get relegated, they are currently 17th, it would be a big help and increase the midfielder’s desire to leave.
He would be a big addition, and we will be happy if Grealish signs, but at this stage, United have no reason to box themselves into a corner and be held to ransom.
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