Man City are reportedly willing to sacrifice Jack Grealish so they can sign Arsenal and England sensation Bukayo Saka in a swap deal.
As transfer rumours go, this really is a whopper.
Grealish signed for Man City in 2020 for around £100m from rivals Aston Villa.
The 27-year-old was unable to hit the ground running last term but he is showing signs of progress as he gets used to how Pep Guardiola operates.
The Englishman came off the bench to provide an assist for Man City’s winner against Chelsea last week.
Speaking post-match, he admitted that his transfer to Man City has been ‘much more difficult’ than he anticipated.
“When I came here, I’ll be honest, it was so much more difficult than I thought,” Grealish told Sky Sports.
“In my head, I thought I was going to the team sitting top of the league and I was going to get so many goals and assists and obviously it isn’t the case.
“A lot of teams tend to sit in against us and that wasn’t the case at Villa.
“(Former Villa manager) Dean Smith would tell me to go and find the weak link in the defence, whether that was on the right, the middle or whether I wanted to hug the touchline — and at Villa, I always had an overlapping full-back.
“I came into City, having been at Villa my whole life, and I’ve never had to change. I’ve always been used to that. I didn’t realise how hard it is to adapt to a different team and manager.”
Despite his recent signs of growth, Grealish is being linked with a move elsewhere.
Guardiola is often keen to sign English players and they are reportedly ‘planning’ to sign Saka.
Liverpool are also said to be admirers of him and Jurgen Klopp recently suggested that the winger is an “unbelievable” talent.
Saka has grabbed six goals and six assists in 17 Premier League outings this term and he is out of contract in 2024.
Arsenal are keen to tie him down to a long-term contract but GiveMeSport are reporting that Man City are thinking of negotiating a swap deal involving Grealish to help them sign Saka or AC Milan’s Rafael Leao.
‘This one still needs to fully unfold as Grealish is working hard to make sure this £100million City move works out – but it’s worth being aware that the club have a constant eye out for ways to keep evolving,’ the report states.
‘Rafael Leao is a player they like but so too is Bukayo Saka. Neither are attainable in this moment but that may change later in the year, depending on contract talks.
‘One idea being mooted is that Grealish could even end up going in the opposite direction to either of those players.
‘Again, this is early days and not active right now, but if we are on the lookout for surprising deals – this would be right up there.’
- City set to offload Sterling and Mahrez after Grealish transfer
- Grealish has ‘head turned’ by Man City as £90m bid looms
- Man City boss Guardiola reveals England star is ‘not available’ for CL clash