Jack Grealish on potential Manchester United move.
Jack Grealish has said that he was “really close” to joining Man United in the summer of 2020.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the England midfielder revealed that could have been wearing red instead of the blue Manchester City, the club he joined earlier this summer in a British record deal from Aston Villa.
Jack Grealish: “I was really close to going to Man United.”
“I was really close to going, but nothing happened in the end,” Grealish said of a potential move to Old Trafford last year.
“We played United in a pre-season game on Saturday and I wasn’t supposed to play in a cup game at Burton.
“But after the United game I said to Christian Purslow [Aston Villa’s chief executive] and my agent ‘if I’m not leaving, I’ll sign my new contract’.”
Grealish signed a new five-year contract with boyhood club Villa just three days after that pre-season friendly with the Red Devils.
“I went in with my dog on Tuesday morning, signed the deal, and played later that day,” he explained, referring to the club’s 3-1 Carabao Cup victory over Burton Albion on September 15th.
“We all agreed on the clause and if any team hit that, it’s a win-win because it means I’ve had an unbelievable season and Villa got £100 million.”
Man City matched Aston Villa valuation.
The following summer, Man City did indeed match the astronomical price set out in Grealish’s contract, and he joined Pep Guardiola’s side in August of this year.
After a decent start to the campaign, it’s fair to say that Grealish hasn’t lived up to the price tag and this is something he agrees with himself. Elsewhere in the interview, the 26-year-old explains why this may be the case.
“It’s weird because I’ve always classed myself as an off-the-cuff player,” he says. “Last season I was playing left-wing and (Villa manager) Dean Smith would say ‘if you feel like it’s right to go inside, I trust you and go and do it.
“Here, it’s more structured and completely different. This is what I mean about adapting. There’s a lot of meetings and a lot to get used to.”
Grealish is in line to return to Villa Park for the first time since his big-money move as Man City travel to face Aston Villa on Wednesday evening.