Reports in the Sunday papers that Jack Grealish has overtaken Jadon Sancho as Manchester United’s top summer transfer target seem wide of the mark.
The Mirror reports in an exclusive that ‘The 24-year-old playmaker has been at the centre of detailed due diligence that’s being undertaken by senior figures at Old Trafford over an £80m move.
‘Despite Grealish breaking lockdown to attend a house-party with former team-mate Ross McCormack – a move that ended with him picking up a £150,000 club fine – that has not put off [United manager Ole Gunnar] Solskjaer.
‘But with cash at a premium this summer, United will prioritise Grealish over Jadon Sancho with Borussia Dortmund unwilling to lower their £100m asking price.’
Whilst it is always possible reporter Neil Moxley knows something that everyone else doesn’t, his claims do not explain:
• Why United would suddenly prioritise a left sided midfielder when their identified gaps are the right wing and holding midfielder positions;
• Why United would pay £80 million for Grealish, who has a market value of only £27 million;
• Why United would cough up more for Grealish than would reportedly be needed to sign Kai Havertz, who is a younger, better player, has a market value of £72 million, can play on the right wing, in central midfield and in any forward position;
• Where left sided Grealish would fit into a Manchester United side with Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford all occupying left sided roles and Bruno Fernandes also occupying an attacking midfield role.
Nonetheless, Moxley is adamant that ‘it is Grealish who has captured the attention of the decision-makers at the club and, regardless of whether Villa are relegated, the Norwegian will press the button.’
Grealish is certainly a player that interests United and doing ‘due diligence’ is an expected part of any serious scouting process. But all other reports indicate that the right wing remains the Red Devils’ priority and in any case, any move for Grealish would surely be pitched at a figure substantially lower than the £80 million claimed by The Mirror and reportedly sought by Villa.
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