Manchester City are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Aston Villa star Jack Grealish in a lucrative £100million transfer. If the Blues were able to pull off the blockbuster move, Pep Guardiola would have an important choice on his hands in terms of where the Englishman’s talents would be put to best use.
With the attacker due to return from holiday later this week, the picture surrounding Grealish’s future is expected to evolve over the coming days.
In a desperate attempt to keep hold of their talisman, Villa are expected to table a lucrative contract offer which would put him head and shoulders above any of their current squad.
However, City have the financial power to leave Villa in the dust, although Grealish may still prefer to stay at his boyhood club where he has spent years earning the fans’ adoration.
One would imagine that England’s penalty shootout heartbreak at Euro 2020 would make the 25-year-old even hungrier to gain silverware, a feat presumed more achievable in Manchester.
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With a £100million price-tag pinned to the elusive playmaker, City are preparing to pounce, while The Athletic claim that the parties are in advanced talks over a deal.
It would appear that City could do with the attacking reinforcements, in light of their narrow pre-season victory over Preston North End on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Riyad Mahrez and Samuel Edozie made the difference, although Grealish’s creative spark would undoubtedly have asked extra questions of the Championship defence.
His quality will ask plenty more questions across a Premier League campaign too.
If the City hierarchy did manage to see the deal through, Guardiola would have to decide exactly where Grealish would fit into the City set-up.
Used as a central playmaker in seasons past, the Villa man is now more often spotted on the left-wing where he tends to drift inside and cause problems.
Guardiola’s side seem fairly well-stocked for wingers, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Ferran Torres and Mahrez already vying for minutes.
Indeed, Grealish could simply arrive to bolster their options out wide, although City’s system towards the end of last season could present an opportunity for the 12-cap England international to flourish in a central role.
City were a fluid attacking machine on their way to Premier League glory last campaign, utilising at least one ‘false nine’-style attacker who would drop deep to orchestrate attacks.
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Without a doubt, Grealish has the technical flair and skillset to draw fouls, create chances and cause general mayhem in such a position, even if it is not one he is particularly well-versed in at present.
City have been in the market for a striker since Sergio Aguero left for Barcelona at the start of the summer.
If the club are prepared to shell out £100million for a player, they will undoubtedly have a plan of action regarding where he will fit into the side.
Luckily for the Blues, Grealish is a versatile talent who could cause problems all over their front-line, whether that be out wide or through the middle. That decision, of course, is how Guardiola earns his money.