Aston Villa always expected interest in Manchester City target Jack Grealish this summer, says Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.
Reports broke last month suggesting that the Premier League champions will try to sign the Villa captain this transfer window, with Sky Sports claiming a bid could be made soon.
Despite missing a large part of the season due to injury, Grealish was still arguably Villa’s best performer of the 2020/21 campaign.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder provided more Premier League assists (10) than any other Villa player and also finished the term as the best dribbler in Dean Smith’s squad after recording an average of 2.5 dribbles per game (via WhoScored).
On City’s interest in Grealish, Hatfield told FFC:
“It was always expected at Villa that there was going to be interest in him. And it would be silly not to expect that considering the performances he put in over the season and then what he’s obviously doing for England now.”
In terms of incomings this summer, Villa have already signed Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City for a club-record fee of £40m.
Like Grealish, Buendia also thrived last season as he helped Norwich win promotion back to the Premier League. In 39 Championship appearances, the Argentine playmaker scored 15 goals and provided 16 assists.
With Grealish and Buendia on the flanks, Villa could have quite the attack this upcoming campaign if they can keep hold of the England international.