Jack Grealish will readily admit he did not have a great game against Manchester United earlier this month.
If he was worried that he failed a potential audition, then he will be feeling a little better about his chances of a summer transfer to Manchester United.
Grealish stepped up last night when Villa needed him to. He inspired the side to a win at home to Arsenal, which lifted them out of the relegation zone with one game remaining.
United have been consistently linked with Grealish, with The Mirror reporting last month he remained high on the club’s list of transfer targets.
Last night Grealish was in inspired form as he produced his best performance since the lockdown.
While he did not add to his record of seven goals and six assists, he came close, with a curling shot in the first half which dipped just over the bar.
Grealish also created three chances, more than any player on the pitch. He had three successful dribbles, won five fouls, and completed 87 per cent of his passes as Villa beat Arsenal 1-0.
The cost of staying up
The report from The Mirror last month claimed Villa were looking for around £75 million to sign Grealish.
United were probably counting on Villa getting relegated to substantially knock his price down.
Now it appears Villa are in a strong position to stay up, and will be in a stronger negotiating position for Grealish as a result.
£75 million seems like too much for us in this market, and considering a lot of our money will be committed towards Sancho.
It would not be a surprise to see City try and make a play of their own to get him, with reports from The Evening Standard anticipating a spending spree from the blue side of Manchester this summer.
Grealish was asked about his future after the match, and told Sky Sports’ post-game interview: “I’m not sure to at the moment. I have one aim and that’s to keep the club in the Premier League. That’s all I’m thinking about at the moment and that’s all I can think of.”
That was not exactly an affirmation he wants to stay long-term, but Grealish is never going to publicly push to leave his boyhood club and ruin his reputation there.
If Villa do stay up, signing Grealish will not be easy for United at all, and his price tag may prompt us to consider cheaper alternatives for a player who would ultimately just be a squad player at Old Trafford as opposed to a first choice.
Nonetheless, United supporters were impressed by Grealish’s performance last night and saw enough to be excited ahead of a possible summer transfer.
Here is a look at some of the reaction to his display in Villa’s victory…
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