Jack Grealish posed a dilemma for Manchester United – Richard Fay


It looked like Manchester United’s pursuit of Jack Grealish was over with the summer arrival of Donny van de Beek, but that may have to change. It is understood that the Dutch midfielder was not quite seen as a direct alternative to the Aston Villa captain, but the similarities are still there. Both have been admired as United looked to add an attacking reinforcement to a midfielder rejuvenated by talismanic Bruno Fernandes, but that’s a problem that remains.

Van de Beek remains on the outskirts at Old Trafford with his place on the bench at Goodison Park this weekend, confirmation of his current status as a substitute for the squad, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists his chances will come at the as the season continues.

In essence, Van de Beek’s arrival has been hastened to ensure United are in a good position if Paul Pogba leaves next summer, while Juan Mata’s resurgence has also helped the cause despite its obvious limitations.

United entered the international break by winning what was arguably their most important game of the season at Everton on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was under pressure following disastrous performances in defeats against Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir, and in the lower half of the Premier League table.

But, as has happened so often, the Reds responded by coming from behind to beat the Toffees thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ brace and Edinson Cavani’s first goal for United.

United have a two-week hiatus with many of their stars on international assignments – we’ll be keeping an eye on their performances and preparations for their next Premier League game against West Brom.

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As it stands, United don’t really need to sign a new attacking option next year, but those priorities could increase if they sell Pogba or if Mata doesn’t stick past the his contract expires next June. If that were to happen, Grealish would surely end up on their transfer radar again.

The 25-year-old was on United’s potential roster in the last transfer window and he was admired at Old Trafford, but the MEN understand that there were no discussions with Villa over the summer about ‘a deal.

It is believed there was uncertainty over Grealish’s place in Solskjaer’s squad after starting last season in a forward midfielder role at Villa before moving to the left of a front three, a position that is already well taken care of.

There’s also the funding issue, with Villa valuing their captain at £ 80million, a sum United had no intention of paying for a player who would not have been guaranteed a spot in first team right away.

Still, in the next summer transfer window, Grealish might no longer be seen as a team filler but a vital first-team asset with his performances at Villa Park reaching a level he never had before. seen before in the elite.

Grealish took his season tally to five goals and five assists in Villa’s win over Arsenal this weekend, the perfect accompaniment to their new senior England status.

United have made it clear that they will be looking to recruit top local talent as part of their continued cultural rest under Solskjaer, this means they won’t be able to ignore someone as impressive as Grealish as long as that criterion remains in play .

Under Dean Smith’s leadership, it looks like Villa could pull off something special this season, with Grealish being the catalyst for his childhood club, it could also serve as the perfect send off if he pointed them to silverware.

His value will only continue to rise with each brilliant display while his performances at the European Championships next summer could blow his transfer valuation into the nine-digit range.

It may not be a priority to sign another attacking star at the moment, but if Pogba were to leave United would already have the perfect signing to help mitigate such a loss.


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