Manchester United are reportedly set to be beaten to the transfer of Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish by local rivals Manchester City.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, current Premier League leaders Manchester City have emerged as the favourites to sign Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, who is also a transfer target for Manchester United.

Since leading Aston Villa back to the Premier League in 2019, the 25-year-old has easily been one of the best players in England, having helped the Villans just about survive the drop last term, while aiding their push for European football in the current season.

So far in the 2020/21 campaign, Grealish has produced an impressive return of seven goals and twelve assists from 23 matches in all competitions. In the process, he has also established himself in the England national team as well. Naturally, the list of admirers for the 25-year-old has been growing with every performance of his.

Manchester United had been heavily linked with a move for Grealish throughout the last summer. However, Villa’s price tag proved prohibitive for the Red Devils in the Covid-affected market and as a result, a move failed to materialise. Instead, the club brought in Donny van de Beek from AFC Ajax in a £35 million deal.

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However, their interest in the Grealish still remains. And with Paul Pogba’s contract expiring in less than a year and van de Beek potentially seeking an exit in the summer after a torrid debut season in England, Manchester United could once again need to strengthen their attacking midfield options making Grealish a viable target.

But, according to the aforementioned news report, Manchester United could struggle to beat their neighbours Manchester City in the transfer battle for Grealish. The Cityzens have been admirers of the 25-year-old for quite some time now and are one of the few clubs who have the financial clout to match Aston Villa’s £100 million price tag for their skipper.

As for how he could fit into the side, Grealish’s versatile nature means he could operate as one of the two attack-minded central midfielders alongside Kevin De Bruyne, while he would also be able to play on the left flank competing for a starting berth along with the likes of Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling.

Having not signed a replacement for club legend David Silva last summer, Manchester City could look at Grealish to bolster their squad this summer. And their financial muscle, coupled with Manchester United ruling out big money moves this summer, has meant Pep Guardiola’s side are the favourites to land the Englishman.

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