Manchester United Could Have Signed Jack Grealish For £200,000 In 2012
Former Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has revealed Manchester United nearly signed Jack Grealish when he was a schoolboy in 2012.
United are reportedly interested in signing the Villa captain this summer with the 24-year-old also eager for the move.
McLeish has revealed that United's interest extends as far back as eight years ago when a teenage Grealish was seen at former United star Rio Ferdinand's Rosso restaurant.
The Scotsman told The Mirror:
"We concocted getting him on the bench against Chelsea [in April 2012] just to give him a taste.
"But the next month on the same day the first team were at Old Trafford, Jack and an agent were seen at Rio Ferdinand's restaurant that night.
"I am sure Jack was really happy being wanted by other massive teams but you knew his heart was at Villa. It was just a case of sorting out a suitable package."
McLeish also explained that the midfielder was a top talent from a young age and possessed the swagger that has become his trademark.
"Bryan [Jones, then Aston Villa academy chief] told me Jack's contract was coming up and he was getting courted by Man United.
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"All the heads of department at Aston Villa discussed it in a meeting and I agreed with Bryan Jones 100 per cent that we had to keep him.
"Maybe it was unprecedented money we were giving to an academy kid. But it has turned out to be a great bit of business for Aston Villa.
"I used to go down and watch the academy games and he was a precocious young talent and something you treasure.
"He stood out and wore his socks down even then. I remember his dad came in my office and we said we would do everything we could to make Jack happy and stay at Aston Villa."
Jack Grealish on his journey from the Villa academy to first-team
:speaking_head:"As an Aston Villa fan all I've ever wanted to do is play for this club. Being captain in a Cup final will be a massive moment for me" pic.twitter.com/Y0k0VuKBKJ
- Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 28, 2020
Both players have been criticised by boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in recent weeks and were dropped for last weekend's 3-0 victory over Watford.
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Featured Image Credit: PA