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Jack Grealish: 'I almost joined Manchester United'

Jack Grealish: 'I almost joined Man United'
© Reuters
Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish reveals that he was "really close" to joining crosstown rivals Manchester United before moving to the Etihad Stadium over the summer.

Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish has revealed that he was "really close" to joining crosstown rivals Manchester United before moving to the Etihad Stadium over the summer.

The 25-year-old became the first £100m player in English football history when he signed for the Citizens from boyhood club Aston Villa in August.

Grealish is understood to have been targeted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side in the summer of 2020, but went on to sign a new five-year deal at Villa Park that summer, which included the £100m release clause activated by Pep Guardiola's side a year later.

The playmaker, who has scored twice and provided three assists in 16 appearances for Man City, has since stated that a move to Old Trafford was not too far away.

"I was really close to going [to Man United], but nothing happened in the end," the England international told the Daily Telegraph.

"[Aston Villa] 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 [Aston Villa's chief executive] and my agent '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. 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 £100m."

Grealish came on as a second-half substitute against his former club on Wednesday night, as Man City claimed a 2-1 victory at Villa Park to keep pace with Premier League leaders Chelsea.

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Christian Purslow at an Aston Villa press conference in late 2018
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1Manchester CityMan City22182254134156
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham22114741301137
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7Manchester UnitedMan Utd2110563530535
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves209471715231
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