Jack Grealish reveals he was 'really close' to Man Utd transfer and interest sparked £100m Aston Villa release clause

MANCHESTER UNITED nearly sealed a deal for Jack Grealish, 12 months before his historic £100million transfer to Manchester City.

The transfer made him the most expensive Premier League signing of all time, but things were 'close' to being very different for the England star.

Grealish, 26, has revealed that OIe Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to sign him in the summer of 2020.

A move never materialised, but he signed a new deal at Aston Villa with a £100m release clause off the back of Manchester United's interest.

Grealish told the Telegraph: "I was really close to going [to Manchester United], but nothing happened in the end.

"We played United in a pre-season game on Saturday and I wasn’t supposed to play in a cup game at Burton.

"But after the United game I said to [Christian] Purslow and my agent [David Manasseh]‘if I’m not leaving, I’ll sign my new contract’.

"I went in with my dog on Tuesday morning, signed the deal, and played later that day.

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"We all agreed on the clause and if any team hit that, it’s a win-win because it means I’ve had an unbelievable season and Villa got £100million."

Tottenham had also been keen on a move for the playmaker the season before interest from Old Trafford.

Ultimately though he extended his deal with boyhood club Aston Villa in the summer of 2020, meaning they banked £100m when he finally left in August.

Grealish though has failed to really hit the ground running on the blue side of Manchester.

One goal in nine Premier League outings this campaign isn't the sort of return he'd have been hoping for after playing a key role for England at Euro 2020.

He has shown sparks of what he is capable of, and will no doubt grow into his role in what is a star studded City line-up.

A goal on his European debut against RB Leipzig is a particular highlight.

However he has failed to find the back of the net since that game in mid-September, and will be eager to contribute more goals and assists in what is already a thrilling title rice.

City are sandwiched in between league leaders Chelsea and Liverpool, a point behind the Blues and a point ahead of Jurgen Klopp and Co.

But with seven league fixtures in December alone, that table could look very different come New Year's Day.

And the first festive fixture for Pep Guardiola and Co is a tasty meeting with Grealish's former club Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

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