Chelsea are reportedly maintaining a concrete interest in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, who is also a transfer target for rivals Manchester City.

According to a report from Football Insider, Chelsea have a strong interest in signing Aston Villa and England star Jack Grealish in the ongoing transfer window, with Manchester City also keen on the playmaker.

Grealish has grown into one of the best attacking midfielders in England over the past few years. Having helped Villa gain promotion back to the Premier League, the 25-year-old has been top-notch in the competition during the previous two campaigns. He played an integral role in helping the Midlands’ outfit survive the drop in 2019/20 and was among their best players in 2020/21 as well, even though he had some injury issues.

Grealish ended the recently-concluded Premier League season gone by with a return of six goals and twelve assists despite playing just 26 times. Currently away on international duty with England for the UEFA Euro 2020, the playmaker is attracting serious interest from several top clubs in England, including Chelsea and Manchester City.

Chelsea’s interest in Grealish might come out as a bit puzzling given the plethora of attacking talent already available at manager Thomas Tuchel’s disposal. Indeed, the Blues already have Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, who can all play in the attacking midfield areas, while on occasions, Timo Werner has also played in the left-side channel.

Jack Grealish has been brilliant for Aston Villa (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Jack Grealish has been brilliant for Aston Villa (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

However, there are serious question marks over the future of Ziyech, who has endured a difficult debut season in England and could be on his way out. The Morroccan’s potential exit, in case it materialises, could open the door for someone like Grealish to arrive at Stamford Bridge. The report states that Chelsea have a concrete interest in the 25-year-old, with owner Roman Abramovich ready to splash the cash on top-tier signings like him.

At the same time, Manchester City are also maintaining a strong interest in the 25-year-old and are believed to be readying up a huge offer to land his signing. With Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva being heavily linked with exits this summer, a move for Grealish would make sense for the Premier League champions, with manager Pep Guardiola putting the Aston Villa skipper at the top of his shopping list.

Grealish signed a new contract with Aston Villa last September, extending his stay at the club till 2025. However, the report adds that the England international has a release clause embedded in his new deal while also stating that the Villans may be readying themselves for the departure of their captain by the signing of Emiliano Buendia and the pursuit of Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe.

Despite those claims, Dean Smith’s side are in a strong negotiating position and are unlikely to let their star man leave unless an enormous offer comes in. It remains to be seen if either Chelsea or Manchester City can land Grealish. For now, both clubs have identified the 25-year-old as a player who can strengthen their respective teams.

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