Johan Lange must hold firm in Aston Villa’s demand of £100million for Jack Grealish after Steve Nicol claimed Manchester United are “crying out” for a player like him.
While speaking with ESPN FC, Nicol has reacted to reports by The Telegraph which claimed Villa would demand £100m for Grealish by stating the England international is worth just 60 to 65 per cent of the fee being quoted.
Manchester United were said to have been interested in signing Grealish during the summer window, but baulked at having to pay the Villans’ £80m asking price for the talismanic midfielder.
Nicol is adamant Red Devils chief Ed Woodward would be wise to sign Grealish in the future, but questions the fee needed to land the deadly left-sided maestro.
“I’m not going to say he’s a £100million player, I don’t think it’s £100m. But I think he’s certainly worth around the £60m-65m mark,” Nicol said. “I questioned last year whether he was just a good player in a bad team, and they stuck it out but what we’re seeing from him not only in an Aston Villa jersey but an England jersey, this guy is actually a player.
“He’s fantastic at keeping the ball, he almost slows the game down to where he’s the guy that is in control of it. His goals and assists this season are out of this world. You talk about raising your game to another level, Jack Grealish has done that. Any team in the Premier League would be delighted to have Grealish on their team.
“Manchester United lack consistency and they need to get players who are not only consistent but who are consistent at a real high level that will take a club like United to where they think they belong, which is fighting for leagues and for European titles.
“Jack Grealish can do that. I think absolutely United are crying out for a Grealish, a guy who keeps it, who will do his bit defensively, we talk about with [Paul] Pogba, United not being able to defend – Grealish does everything.”
While Nicol suggests every side in the Premier League would be delighted to have Grealish in their team, Lange must hold firm in demanding £100m in order to see the potential suitors lining up at the midfielder’s door fail in their efforts.
Grealish has once again been one of the stars of Dean Smith’s squad at Villa Park this season, recording the 10th-most goals in the Premier League (5), plus the third-most successful dribbles (29), the joint-most key passes (27), creating the second-most big chances (7), winning the most ground duels (83) and penning the second-most assists (5) across the division after 10 games, per SofaScore.
His partnership with Villans summer signing Ollie Watkins is among the best in the top-flight, as well, with only Harry Kane (7) providing more assists to Heung-Min Son than Grealish’s direct involvement in three of the former Brentford star’s six goals.
Lange would struggle to find a player able to offer half what Grealish brings to the table let alone replace the five-time England international, who earned his debut under Gareth Southgate this September.
Villa can point to his international status and Southgate lauding Grealish’s “outstanding” performance against Belgium when demanding their fee, too, as he surely established himself as a Three Lions regular by leaving the England boss unable to “speak highly enough” of his display.