Arsenal have joined the race to sign Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to Sky Sports.
The midfielder has been sought after by Manchester United all season, but the £80 million price tag slapped on by the West Midlands club appears to be delaying a bid from the Red Devils.
Grealish scored eight Premier League goals for the Villans this past season with the most crucial coming on the final day in a 1-1 draw at West Ham United that effectively kept the club in the top flight.
The 24-year-old could be seen as an ideal player for Mikel Arteta to build his team around in the middle of the park, following Matteo Guendouzi’s uncertain future at the Emirates Stadium, Lucas Torreira not being a regular, and Granit Xhaka… well, being Granit Xhaka.
Jack Grealish has been a good leader for Aston Villa, something that Arsenal don’t really have on the pitch anymore. Xhaka had been their captain going into the 2019-20 campaign before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended the season with the armband.
The £80 transfer fee may prove to be a stumbling block for the Gunners, who only splashed out big money on Nicolas Pepe last summer and have failed to qualify for the Champions League once again.
Jack Grealish is capable of playing on both the left wing and central midfield. He got most of his goals from the former this past season, whilst he is a great influence on games when played in the middle of the park. He added six assists in his 36 Premier League games in 2019-20, meaning he was involved in 34% of the team’s goals.
Manchester United may be the more realistic destination for Grealish. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side clinched a top four finish with their 2-0 win away to Leicester City on Sunday, and adding the player to form a central midfield trio of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes is a mouth-watering prospect for the club’s fans.
They do already have a rejuvenated Nemanja Matic in that position though, with both Fred and Scott McTominay having adequate seasons behind him. This suggests that Jack Grealish won’t be a top target this summer whilst the club may not be forced into breaking their balance to purchase him.
It is widely known that Jadon Sancho is the top target for the 20 times champions of England this summer, whilst a centre-back could be another priority over a central midfielder.
Either way, we wouldn’t expect Jack Grealish to be playing for Aston Villa at the start of next season…