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Villa ‘braced’ for summer battle for Grealish as United and City monitor eye England international

Aston Villa are ‘braced’ for a summer transfer battle for Jack Grealish with both Manchester United and Manchester City interested in the midfielder.

Grealish has emerged as one of the most exciting talents in the Premier League since Villa’s return to the top flight, starring during the current campaign with five goals and six assists in 12 league appearances.

No player in the division has created more chances or played more key passes than the 25-year-old so far this season, whose performances have not gone unnoticed by the Premier League’s biggest sides.

According to the Mirror, Aston Villa are ‘braced’ for interest in the club captain in January, though the Midlands club are ‘unlikely’ to part with their prized asset next month given the club’s encouraging start to the campaign.

Dean Smith’s side currently sit ninth in the Premier League and have games in hand on the sides above them, with the club harbouring ambitions of challenging for a place in Europe in what is shaping up to be a competitive season.

Villa are under no pressure to sell the influential star who signed a new long-term contract in September, though the lure of Champions League football could persuade Grealish to leave his boyhood side next summer.

Both Manchester sides could provide that platform and are interested in a player whose value is likely to have now exceeded £100m, whilst that price-tag could increase further should Grealish star at next summer’s European Championships after forcing his way into the England side in recent months.

Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the player but refused to meet his valuation during the summer with their efforts concentrated on Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, whilst Pep Guardiola is reportedly a ‘big fan’ of Grealish’s creative talents as he looks to overhaul his attacking options at the Etihad.

Liverpool have also been linked recently amid uncertainty surrounding the future of Mohamed Salah, though the champions have distanced themselves from a move for the Villa captain.

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