In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Dean Windass has tipped Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish to walk into Manchester City’s starting line-up tomorrow.
The former Hull City and Middlesbrough striker believes Pep Guardiola’s Citizens, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur are the only clubs Grealish would leave the Villans for, as Manchester United would refuse to meet the asking price set by Villa’s owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
Villa recently increased their valuation of Grealish to £100m and set a marker for any potential suitor to make the five-cap England international the most expensive British player in history, after he penned a new, five-year contract.
Windass would not hold the incidents against Grealish, and firmly believes Sawiris and Edens are well within their rights to demand a British record fee for the midfielder.
He told FFC:
“Yeah, in today’s market, forget about what he’s done off the field, we all make mistakes, I’ve been there and worn the t-shirt.
“But he’s a talent, local boy, he loves the club, he’s going to make mistakes he’s a young boy, he’s a young kid, and these young kids just need reminding every now and then.
“They’re on that much money now that the world is their oyster. Yeah, he’s been done drink driving, and now he’s paid the price, does it really hurt players nowadays that they’ve been done drink driving? You can afford to get a driver, it’s not as if they’ve got to get the bus.
“It’s wrong what he did, he’ll pay that price, and you’ve got to learn from it. We’ve all got learn from mistakes. I’ve been there. You learn from mistakes, and Dean [Smith]’s probably good for him, pull him to the side [and say] let your football do the talking and stop doing daft things off the field. But he’ll learn from that.
“But £100m, I think it was £80m before he signed his contract, he had an £80m clause in his contract. So £100m is a fair valuation now without a shadow of a doubt.
“He could go in Man City’s team tomorrow, and he’d be a good player. That’s the only teams he would go to, Liverpool or Man City or Tottenham. Manchester United would sign him tomorrow, but they won’t pay £100m.”
Grealish has been in outstanding form under Smith this season, providing five goals and six assists in 11 Premier League games ahead of the Birmingham-based outfit facing West Bromwich Albion on Sunday night.
Manchester United were linked with a potential move for the midfield maestro in the summer but baulked at Aston Villa’s £80m asking price, with Executive Vice-Chairman Ed Woodward adamant that the figure in question was unrealistic.
Any move by the Red Devils would now likely face competition from their Etihad Stadium neighbours, with Guardiola said to have discussed a move for the 25-year-old with Kevin de Bruyne after marking Grealish as his top target.