JACK GREALISH has his “heart set” on a move to Manchester United, according to former Red Devils striker Michael Owen.
The Aston Villa skipper played a huge role in his boyhood club’s Premier League survival, scoring the all-important opener in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.
Grealish skippered Villa to Premier League survival[/caption]
Michael Owen believes that Grealish wants to move to Manchester United[/caption]
But speculation continues to circle around the 24-year-old’s future, with Man United regularly linked with making a move.
And Owen believes that Old Trafford is the only destination that Grealish wants to reach.
He said: “I think he’s after Manchester United as well.
“I’m told he has his heart set on Manchester United. I’d be surprised if he went anywhere else.”
Villa chief Nassef Sawiris is said to now be demanding £80million for his club’s star asset, in line with what United were willing to pay for centre-back Harry Maguire.
And Owen, 40, believes that Villa are right to be demanding such a fee.
He continued: “He’ll be more expensive now to possible suitors.
“There is that tie now that it’s his team and they’re still in the Premier League – it would have been an easier decision if they went down.
People compare him to James Maddison and others like that but I think he’s head and shoulders above him.
“You can’t have someone like that playing in the Championship. He’s a top player; he would suit an awful lot of teams; he’s exceptional.
“People compare him to James Maddison and others like that but I think he’s head and shoulders above him.
“He can run with the ball well, score goals, he’s in double figures this season, he assists.
“He’s actually much better out of possession and I think that’s where this season he has developed that side. He covers a lot of ground.
“He’s not one of those flashy players where you give him the ball and he turns it on, he actually works hard out of possession as well.”
Manager Dean Smith refused to address questions over Grealish’s future following Sunday’s Premier League survival, instead suggesting that he and his skipper will head out on the lash.
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The 49-year-old said: “We’ll go out and get drunk together.
“I said to Jack he’d come to the party and score. He has been getting better and better. He has come good when he needed to.
“It will all be sorted over the next month. I’m certainly hopeful [he’ll play again]. He’s contracted for another three or four years.
“I’ve said many times before we have billionaire owners – if people want to come in and get the best player, it’ll cost an awful lot of money.
“Jack’s an Aston Villa fan, he will be immensely proud that he scored the goal that managed to keep us in the Premier League.
“I’ll sit down with the sporting director, the CEO and the owners on Monday. Let’s enjoy this. It’s a magnificent achievement.”
Grealish scored eight goals and laid on six assists this season[/caption]
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Although there is currently no sporting director for Smith to speak to, with Villa having sacked Jesus Garcia Pitarch in the aftermath of their scraped Premier League survival.
Club bosses were extremely unhappy to be dragged into such a relegation dogfight – particularly having spent in the region of £150m.
Pitarch’s replacement at Villa Park will immediately be tasked with fending off potential suitors for Grealish as the Midlands club hope to build for next season.