Pep Guardiola wants Jack Grealish as part of Manchester City‘s summer squad strengthening programme, with sources telling ESPN that the City manager regards the Aston Villa midfielder as important a target as Tottenham forward Harry Kane.
Grealish, in contention to be in the starting lineup for England‘s Euro 2020 opener against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday, is also on Manchester United‘s target list for this transfer window, but sources have told ESPN that City believe they can win the race for the 25-year-old, who is rated at £100 million by Villa.
Guardiola has been a long-term admirer of Grealish and has previously spoken publicly of his admiration of the player’s ability.
And although City are determined to find a world-class replacement for Sergio Aguero following his free transfer move to Barcelona last week — England captain Kane is the club’s No. 1 target for that position — Guardiola believes that the club should not miss out on the opportunity to sign Grealish if Villa are prepared to do business.
Sources have told ESPN that Villa’s £33m club record move for Norwich midfielder Emiliano Buendia has given City encouragement that a deal could be done for Grealish, who signed a five-year contract to stay at Villa Park in 2020.
Despite City’s wealth of options in the attacking third of the pitch, including Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden, Guardiola believes that the addition of Grealish could give his team the extra quality required to finally win the Champions League next season, having lost against Chelsea in this season’s final last month.
Sources have told ESPN that Guardiola also believes that Grealish could form a devastating partnership with Foden at the Etihad and give the team an attacking outlet capable of dominating the Premier League for the next five years.