Man Utd prioritise Jack Grealish transfer over boyhood fan Maddison despite tracking Leicester star for more than a year – The Sun
MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly ready to throw their weight behind a bid for Jack Grealish despite tracking James Maddison for over a year.
Signing the England international from Leicester appears to be significantly harder than convincing Aston Villa to sell their star man – whether or not they stay up.
The Foxes have long been touted to demand upwards of £80million for Maddison, a fee they will probably refuse to budge on even after the coronavirus pandemic.
Whereas MEN report on United's belief that they can snap up Grealish in a much cheaper deal having made their first approach in February.
Although the pair possess different characteristics, they occupy the same position on the field as central attacking midfielders with the ability to move out wide.
Statistically they are not too far apart either, with both scoring nine goals in 2019/20, but Grealish leads Maddison with eight assists to three.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to provide added impetus to his attack with it said United had budgeted for as many as five major signings this summer, before the pandemic hit.
Either way, the Old Trafford side would have always struggled to sign both playmakers – especially given their major interest in Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham.
Villa will hope to keep Grealish but relegation to the Championship for the side sat in 19th would make that an unrealistic prospect.
The 24-year-old has made the step up to the Premier League extremely comfortably and teammate Conor Hourihane recently remarked: "If I'm being brutally honest, he's too good for our team."
Meanwhile, Leicester are hopeful of extending Maddison's contract past 2023.
He recently stated that he was "very, very happy" at King Power Stadium with Brendan Rodgers' side looking good for Champions League qualification.
In an interview with Leicester's media, the 23-year-old said: "It’s been a whirlwind two years and I’ve loved every second of it. I feel right at home at Leicester. I feel like part of the furniture already and I love it here."
Talks over a new contract are yet to be completed but coach Rodgers insisted at the start of the year that the club are intent on seeing them through.
He told reporters: "James and his representatives are speaking with the club. These things take time but his level has not dropped. He is playing at a high level."
All the while, United's ability to do business at all post-pandemic has been played down by transfer boss Ed Woodward.
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