Manchester City are preparing to make an opening bid for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.
Pep Guardiola’s side are yet to make significant progress regarding incomings this summer, though the Premier League champions are ready to test Aston Villa’s resolve to hold onto Grealish with an initial bid of £75m plus add-ons.
Villa are determined to keep hold of the 25-year-old and will offer the midfielder an improved contract in a bid to convince him to stay, though the Mail are reporting that a British transfer record bid of £100m could be enough to secure a deal.
There have been reports of a £100m release clause in the long-term contract Grealish signed at Villa Park last summer, though its existence has never been confirmed.
City are keen to sign Grealish and England teammate Harry Kane before the end of the transfer window, but will have to obliterate their transfer record which currently stands at £62m to strike either deal with both players set to cost in excess of £100m.
The Premier League champions have raised funds this summer through the sales of several fringe players, the departures of Jack Harrison and Lukas Nmecha – in addition to a sell-on clause activated by Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester United – having brought in transfer funds.
City face a fight to convince Aston Villa to part with Grealish however, with the Midlands club seeking to continue their upward trajectory with another summer of strong recruitment.
Dean Smith’s side have broken their transfer record to sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich and have seen a bid for Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailly rejected, though both deals are designed to supplement and not replace their club captain.