Wed. Sep 30th, 2020

Man Utd


Jack Grealish lifts lid on how close he came to Manchester United transfer

3 min read

Jack Grealish admitted it was 50-50 whether he would stay at Aston Villa this summer, amid fierce interest from Manchester United.

The Villa captain signed a new five-year contract at his boyhood club on Tuesday, and then went onto score as Dean Smith’s side beat Burton Albion 3-1 in the Carabao Cup second round later that evening.

United had a genuine interest in the player, though opted to pursue other targets such as Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho instead.

And, although Smith revealed Villa never received an official bid for Grealish, the player himself said his future was in the balance for a time.

“Yeah, I suppose so. I had a good season last season and there was interest in myself from other clubs,” Grealish told  Sky Sports . “But I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Now I’ve signed a new contract at Aston Villa and I’ve got the biggest smile on my face.”

Grealish revealed the new deal was only agreed “yesterday”, a day before it was announced, before adding: “Saying that I’ve always wanted to stay, it’s Aston Villa – a club that’s close to me and my family.

“There’s obviously been speculation through the summer. On Saturday I had a Facetime call with the owner and he said what his ambitions are for this season and it really persuaded me if anything.

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With a new man to shine in the Norwegian’s XI, you certainly won’t want to miss a thing.

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“Then I also spoke to the manager and Christian Purslow who have been a breath of fresh air since they’ve come in. It was only yesterday when talks got under way and it was done within 24 hours. So it was quite an easy one for myself to sign it and get the season under way.”

Smith believes keeping hold of Grealish is a message to the rest of the Premier League from Villa, as United and other potential suitors look elsewhere in the transfer market.

“He’s been courted and speculated on but we didn’t receive a bid for him,” said the former Brentford boss.

“It’s a big boost that he is staying and a massive statement of intent from the football club and the owners. Jack is talismanic and we know what a tremendous talent he is. We are only too pleased he has agreed to stay.”

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