Jack Grealish’s late goal against West Ham last weekend effectively sealed his boyhood club’s survival in the promised land, Aston Villa pulling off one of the Premier League’s Great Escapes™ having looked destined for the drop just weeks earlier.
Despite spending a couple of seasons in the Championship, Grealish has long been hailed as one of English football’s brightest talents, and his is a name that seems destined to dominate transfer headlines this summer, even if by default inspiring Villa’s survival may have made his chances of a move to a top club more difficult.
So for those of you interested in sports betting and the best online casino, here are the Bookies favourites to sign Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.
Spurs came close to signing Grealish a couple of seasons ago after Villa’s drop into the Championship and by all accounts, the attacking midfielder had his heart set on a move to north London.
However, not for the first time, Spurs supremo Daniel Levy tried to play hardball over a transfer fee and Mauricio Pochettino missed out on one of his primary targets, much to the dismay of the Argentine coach and Grealish himself.
While a player of Grealish’s talent would undoubtedly improve a Spurs side who will be looking to regain their Champions League status next season, manager Jose Mourinho and Levy have both insisted the club will not be spending big in the transfer window, meaning Villa’s £80 million valuation makes a move highly unlikely.
Jurgen Klopp may have turned his side into a well oiled winning machine in recent seasons, but if there is one area Reds fans would like to see their side strengthen in its midfield. Many feel the current first-choice triumvirate of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and Gini Wijnaldum is too workmanlike and would like to see more goals and creativity added to the Reds midfield options.
While Grealish would certainly add an attacking spark to Klopp’s engine room, the Premier League champions are being heavily linked with classy Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is rumoured to be available for a cut price €30 million.
Once again, simple finances make a move to Liverpool unlikely, with the Merseyside outfit having recently pulled out of the race to sign German striker Timo Werner due to the £50 million transfer fee being demanded by RB Leipzig.
Manchester City 5/1
It’s a testament to the currently uncapped Englishman’s technical ability that you could easily see him slotting into most of the top sides in English football, and Pep Guardiola has long been rumoured to be a big fan of the Villa talisman.
Guardiola will, of course, be looking to fill the creative void left by the departure of the mercurial David Silva so it’s easy to see why Grealish has been continually linked with a move to the Etihad in recent months.
However, with City on the verge of signing exciting 21-year-old Ferran Torres from Valencia, and homegrown talent Phil Foden chomping at the bit for more first-team action, Guardiola’s main priority this summer will more than likely be shoring up that leaky defence.
So much of what Arsenal will be able to do in the summer transfer window will hinge on the outcome of their FA Cup final match up with Chelsea this weekend and whether they can get divisive playmaker Mesut Ozil and his £350,000-a-week wages off their books this summer.
Having missed out on Champions League qualification for the last three seasons, while at the same time having one of the top-flights largest wage bills, the men holding the purse strings at the Emirates are thought to be concerned about spending big this summer.
However, if they beat Chelsea at the weekend they will at least qualify for the Europa League and just as importantly it will give new coach Mikel Arteta a much stronger hand when encouraging his board to back him financially in the summer.
Already during his brief stint as Arsenal boss, Arteta has shown that he can improve the players at his disposal and make his side competitive against the top teams. Although the young Spanish manager has also been honest enough to admit there is a massive gap between his squad and some of their rivals.
Once again – and sorry if we sound boring here – it’s hard to see this happening unless Villa reduce their valuation, but that’s not saying we wouldn’t love to see Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang moving into a central role and Grealish supplying the bullets for the Gabonese hitman from a role on the left of the Gunners attack.
Manchester United 13/8
Until recently Grealish looked nailed on to be playing his football at Old Trafford, with most Bookies offering odds on that the 24-year-old would be playing for Manchester United next season.
However, Villa’s survival in the top-flight means they will no longer allow their prized asset to depart on the cheap and United are reported to be put off by the size of the fee being demanded for his services and are instead focussing all their resources on signing Borussia Dortmund sensation, Jadon Sancho.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a big fan of the Villa playmaker but with January signing Bruno Fernandes thriving in the number 10 role and academy graduate Marcus Rashford the first choice on the left, the Norweigan coach is thought to have misgivings about where exactly Grealish would fit into his starting XI.