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‘He was the best youngster coming through’ – Manchester United coveted £80m target as a 16-year-old

One of Manchester United’s reported summer transfer targets could’ve signed for them as a 16-year-old it’s been revealed.

When Jack Grealish was at Aston Villa’s academy in 2012, he was “the best youngster coming through,” according to former Villa first-team manager, Alex McGleish, who was speaking on the Claret & Blue podcast and cited by the Daily Mail, who value the player at £80m.

“At that moment we felt people were getting in contact with him to leave Villa.

“That was one of the main reasons to get him involved with us [in the first-team set-up].

“He would have been on the bench anyway because of the casualties we had. He was the best youngster coming through.

“When we played Man United [a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford in April 2012] we heard he was in a restaurant being courted by one of the agents to try and get him to Man United.

‘We were a bit alarmed about that so we fought well to keep him.”

Having your head turned is nothing new in football, and if Man United come calling, that’s clearly a sign that you’re doing something right.

That Villa were able to keep the youngster, who was destined to become their first-team captain, from the clutches of the Red Devils is testament to the work done behind the scenes at the club.

Eight years on from that encounter, Grealish is evidently now ready to rule United’s midfield, and the only question that remains is whether the Old Trafford outfit will stump up enough money to secure his services.

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