Manchester City overtake Manchester United in race to sign Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish is a target for Manchester United and Manchester City (Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Manchester City’s interest in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has intensified in recent weeks, with Pep Guardiola keen on beating Manchester United to the playmaker’s signature.

Grealish was keen on leaving Villa Park last summer as United made a move for the 25-year-old but the midfielder ended up signing a new deal with his boyhood club after the Red Devils were put off by a £75million asking price.

But Villa’s valuation of the England international has soared since, with Grealish taking his game up another level this season for club and country.

United retain their interest in Grealish but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priorities are elsewhere, as the Red Devils have more pressing issues in defence and attack.

That’s left the door open for City, given Guardiola’s side are one of the few clubs in world football that could afford to sign Grealish and the Daily Mail claim City’s interest has ramped up in recent weeks.

Manchester United v Aston Villa - Premier League

Grealish is valued at £100m (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Villa’s form this term means Grealish could be minded to stay in Birmingham, particularly as Dean Smith’s side still have an outside chance of a European finish this term.

But the chance to join City would likely be too difficult to turn down for Grealish, who has gone on record several times with his admiration for Kevin De Bruyne.

Grealish returned to full training this week and is set to face Fulham this weekend.

The playmaker has been out of action for the last six weeks and Villa have just one of their six matches in his absence, scoring just three times.

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