Aston Villa are prepared to stand firm on their £80m asking price for midfielder Jack Grealish after the Villains managed to avoid relegation to the Championship.
Dean Smith's side survived on the final day of the Premier League season courtesy of a 1-1 draw with West Ham United, in which Grealish netted the crucial goal, and it gives Villa a stronger negotiating stance this summer.
Manchester United are keen on Grealish and had hoped that relegation would see Villa's asking price plummet, but according to The Mirror, Villa plan to stick to their £80m asking price as they desperately want to keep the 24-year-old at Villa Park.
Villa co-owner, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, does not believe that Villa need to offer discounts this summer, despite a year of heavy spending which yielded comparatively little last season, and he feels Grealish should cost at least the same as Harry Maguire did in 2019.
Grealish is now said to be considering his future. He harbours hopes of winning silverware and playing in the Champions League, and a formal transfer request may be his only chance of achieving those goals in the near future.
As it stands, that £80m asking price is too much for United, who are already looking to spend in excess of that on Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho. The German side rejected United's £89m bid and are holding out for £109m according to reports in Germany on Monday, though suggestions a bid was lodged have been rubbished in the UK.
Metro, who state that Grealish's asking price actually sits at £75m, add that United are simply prepared to walk away from negotiations with Villa if they don't see any wiggle room in that figure.
The Independent meanwhile state that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does want to press ahead with a move for Grealish - at the right price of course - though the club have warned the player that he will not be an automatic starter.
Solskjaer is said to be using the deal to sign Bruno Fernandes in January as his benchmark. The midfielder cost an initial £47m which could rise up to £66m, so United are hesitant to offer anything more than that.
The idea of an opening bid of £45m, rising to £55m, has been discussed, but Villa are expected to instantly reject such an offer.
Villa see Grealish, who bagged ten goals and eight assists in all competitions during the season, as a crucial part of their plan to climb up the Premier League table, and it seems as though they're not prepared to let him walk away just yet.
Source : 90min