Manchester City are prioritising a move for Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish over their pursuit of Harry Kane, with the newly-crowned Premier League champions reaching a deadlock in negotiations with Tottenham, according to reports. Pep Guardiola is believed to be keen on bringing the pair to the Etihad Stadium ahead of the new campaign, but the financial challenges involved may pose a significant threat to the Spaniard’s transfer plans.
City are in desperate need of a top-class marksman to lead the line as they look to mount a successful Premier League title defence this season.
The departure of Sergio Aguero, who joined Barcelona on a free transfer last month, leaves Gabriel Jesus as the club’s only natural striking option.
Meanwhile, Kane, who is believed to be angling for a move away from Spurs this summer, has been strongly linked with City as of late.
He is believed to be high on Guardiola’s list of targets, but the Spaniard’s hopes of landing the forward appear to have been dashed by Tottenham’s reluctance to sell their prized asset.
Club chairman Daniel Levy is understood to be opposed to the idea of Kane’s departure and finds himself in a strong position to prevent any move, with the England skipper under contract until the summer of 2024.
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City are said to have already seen a bid in the region of £100million rejected by Spurs, and it remains to be seen whether director of football Txiki Begiristain will sanction a renewed approach for his services.
The likelihood of a move for Kane appears to be dwindling, with Grealish now ahead of his international team-mate at the top of Guardiola’s wish list, according to the Daily Star.
The report claims that City have reached an ‘impasse’ with Spurs, suggesting that Kane is unlikely to join the club ahead of the new Premier League season.
As a result, Begiristain is expected to prioritise a move for Grealish, who has reportedly been offered a lucrative new deal by Villa.
City opened talks with the west Midlands outfit earlier this week before submitting an official bid of £100m, according to The Telegraph. That fee would make Grealish the most expensive English player of all time, and the most expensive in Premier League history.
The 25-year-old is due to train with Villa on Monday after being given an extended summer break due to his involvement with England at Euro 2020.
He registered 19 goal contributions from 27 outings in all competitions last season, with a troublesome shin injury forcing him to spend a large part of the campaign on the treatment table.
Meanwhile, former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara recently urged Grealish to seal his big-money move to City in order to leave a trophy-laden legacy and finish his career with no regrets.
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“If he leaves Aston Villa tomorrow he will still be a club legend at the football club,” O’Hara told talkSPORT earlier this week.
“He needs to go to Man City because he is going to guarantee himself trophies. He will win the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and he’ll probably win the Champions League as well.
“He’s not going to do that at Aston Villa, and as much as Villa are going in the right direction, they are still 10 years behind where Man City are right now.
“He needs to go to a club now like Man City who will offer him a [big] contract, but it will also guarantee him success and trophies, so when he does retire he can say: ‘I played at the top level and won everything’.”