EPL: I Almost Joined Man Utd In 2020 – Grealish
Manchester City forward, Jack Grealish says he came close to signing for rivals, Manchester United in 2020.
Naija News reports that the England international signed for Pep Guardiola’s side from Aston Villa for a record transfer fee of £100m.
The 26-year-old attracted interest from a number of Premier League sides after excelling in the Villa first-team since making his debut in May 2014.
He helped the club gain promotion to the top-flight in 2019 after a three-year absence and scored 14 goals in 62 Premier League appearances under former manager Dean Smith following their return.
In an interview with Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, Grealish said he was targeted by former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the summer transfer window last year but no deal was struck.
He, however, said he decided to stay at Villa Park and signed a new long-term contract until 2025 which had a buyout clause of £100m.
He said: “I was really close to going, but nothing happened in the end.
“We played United in a pre-season game on Saturday and I wasn’t supposed to play in a cup game at Burton.
“But after the United game I said to Christian Purslow [Aston Villa’s chief executive] and my agent ‘if I’m not leaving, I’ll sign my new contract’.
“I went in with my dog on Tuesday morning, signed the deal, and played later that day. We all agreed on the clause and if any team hit that, it’s a win-win because it means I’ve had an unbelievable season and Villa got £100 million.”
Grealish, who has two goals and three assists in 15 matches for City since joining for a club-record fee, has admitted to finding it difficult to play for the Premier League champions.
The talented player faces his former club Villa for the first time on Wednesday following his move to the Etihad Stadium.