Manchester United prepared to walk away from Jack Grealish talks over price dispute

Jack Grealish is keen on joining Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United are unwilling to meet Aston Villa’s £75million asking price for Jack Grealish and will walk away from negotiations if the Midlands club refuse to lower their valuation, understands.

The Red Devils are set to press ahead with a move for Grealish after sealing a Champions League spot on the final day of the season thanks to a 2-0 win against Leicester City.

United’s third-place finish will boost the club’s annual revenues by up to £120million and they could ill-afford a second season outside of the competition, not least because it would have resulted in a £25m drop in sponsorship from the club’s deal with adidas.

Grealish has been monitored over the last 18 months but the focus has increased since Villa’s promotion and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been impressed by the manner in which the 24-year-old took the responsibility of Villa’s survival bid into his own hands during the campaign.

Grealish scored a stunning goal at Old Trafford in December (Picture: Getty)

Solskjaer praised Grealish after his stunning goal at Old Trafford in December and United considered a move for the midfielder in the January transfer window before completing a deal for Sporting Lisbon captain Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes’ arrival alongside the return of Paul Pogba resulted in United cooling their interest in Grealish but recent results – namely draws against Southampton and West Ham – have convinced Solskjaer that he needs to add greater depth to his squad if they’re to improve next term.

United understood Villa’s survival would make a deal more difficult but understands the club were taken aback by Villa’s £75m asking price for the midfielder after they made an initial approach.

Solskjaer wants his board to be aggressive this summer (Picture: Getty)

After refusing to meet Sporting’s £80m asking price last summer, United signed Fernandes for an initial £47m fee in January and the deal could reach around £66m with achievable add-ons.

Fernandes’ price is being used as a barometer for deals this summer and United are unwilling to sanction any deal for Grealish that would eclipse the fee paid for the Portugal international.

United are yet to submit an official bid for Grealish but they have discussed an opening offer of £45m, plus a series of add-ons that would take the deal to around £55m. Villa are likely to immediately reject an offer in that region and the club feel their survival has given them the upper hand in negotiations.

However, United believe Grealish has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford and they’re willing to play hardball with Villa in negotiations.

The pandemic has had a widespread effect on club finances across the globe and United, despite their wealth, are no different. It’s felt there will be a ‘market correction’ in terms of asking prices this summer, so United are understandably unwilling to move too quickly for Grealish, as the true reality of the situation is yet to become clear.

Should Villa refuse to budge, United feel they are in a strong position to walk away from a deal. Grealish is not seen as an upgrade on any of the starters that Solskjaer has in his midfield and instead is wanted as quality back-up for the likes of Pogba and Fernandes.

The deal could therefore hinge on Grealish. The midfielder is set to discuss his future with the club in the next fortnight and should he informally request a move, Villa may be prepared to lower their asking price given the goodwill he has at the club.

Dortmund value Sancho at over £100m (Picture: Getty)

United’s priority remains to tie up a deal for Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, though reports of an £89m bid on Monday are untrue.

Sancho, 20, is yet to hand in a transfer request at the club but they are aware of his desire to return to England.

The winger had been keen on moving to Old Trafford last summer but United’s end-of-season collapse saw the Red Devils miss out on a top four spot, which killed all hope of a deal.

MORE: What Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told his Man Utd squad after sealing Champions League spot


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