Liverpool have denied reports linking them to Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish despite recent speculation that the midfielder may be on his way out of Villa Park to Anfield.
The Villa captain has been impressive for Dean Smith’s side this season and is enjoying the most productive campaign of his career having scored eight goals and six assists this season in 23 appearances. His performance has seen the 24-year-old emerge on the radar of Manchester United, who are in dire need of a creative midfielder, while Manchester City and Tottenham are other clubs linked.
However, according to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds are not interested in signing the Englishman in the January transfer or later in the summer, adding that Jurgen Klopp is happy with his present set of midfielders. The report added that Liverpool have already twice turned down the possibility to sign Grealish, who is expected to leave Villa if the club relegated at the end of the season.
Villa’s previous technical director, Steve Round, is said to have personally approached Liverpool in the summer of 2018 and offered Grealish’s services for £25million due to the club’s financial problems. Liverpool again rejected the chance to sign Grealish last summer.
After Man City’s 6-1 defeat of Villa at the weekend, City manager Pep Guardiola described Grealish as an incredible and top player who is capable of playing in the top six teams in the Premier League. The Spaniard, however, said that the Villa captain is too expensive for the Citizens.
Guardiola said: “He’s incredible. A top player. I’m happy he (initially) stayed in the Championship to defend his club. He’s a talented player who always creates something. An exceptional player but too expensive for Manchester.”
But former Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has advised Grealish to shun a move to Liverpool or Manchester City and move to Old Trafford for as much as £70m. He added that the Villa captain may end up staying at the club despite the inevitable offers he’ll have on the table.
“It’s a tough one but Villa’s owners have come out and said, they want to keep spending,” Agbonlahor told Stadium Astro.
“This season, they’ve got a squad together, lost a lot of players in the summer – stay up, that’s the only goal, then they’ll go again in the summer.
“If he stays up, I think he’ll leave. If they stay up, it could be 50-50. If Villa go out there and spend another £100m maybe…
“If they go out and spend, he’s getting better players around him. I know him, he won’t want to leave. He’s the captain.
“Man United, Villa might say, ‘You know what, it’s going to cost you £70m.’ I think Man United pay it. He’d walk into that side, they’re missing that creativity.
“Tottenham he walks straight into, Arsenal side he walks straight into. I don’t think you can compare [Giovani] Lo Celso with Jack, how Jack’s playing, they’re different qualities he’s got to these sort of players.
“I just think he could fit into those teams. But I don’t think he wants to leave Villa. Villa are a massive club, big history, if they can get the right players in the summer, he’s the captain, the team will be built around him. There’s sometimes you don’t want to leave.
“I think he wants into that United side, you’ve seen the troubles with [Jesse] Lingard, [Juan] Mata. But I just think Villa aren’t going to want to sell him no matter what.”