Jack Grealish has revealed how close he was to joining Manchester United from Aston Villa as he prepares for his return to his boyhood club with Manchester City tomorrow night.
United were long term admirers of the playmaker amid speculation they were preparing to make a move for him back in 2020.
But Grealish ended up staying at Villa where he ended talk about his future by putting pen to paper on a new deal at B6.
However his stay at Villa came to an end in the summer when he left to join Manchester City for £100m in what was a British transfer record.
Ahead of his return to Villa tomorrow night since that move to the Etihad, Grealish has revealed the events of the day that led him to putting pen to paper on a new deal.
Speaking to Telegraph Sport, he said: “I was really close to going, but nothing happened in the end.
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“We played United in a pre-season game on Saturday and I wasn’t supposed to play in a cup game at Burton. But after the United game I said to [Christian] Purslow and my agent, ‘if I’m not leaving, I’ll sign my new contract’.
“I went in with my dog on Tuesday morning, signed the deal, and played later that day.
“We all agreed on the clause and if any team hit that, it’s a win-win because it means I’ve had an unbelievable season and Villa got £100million.”
All eyes are on whether Grealish will be passed fit for City’s trip to B6, but it is unlikely he will start if he is available.
Guardiola added: “Jack yesterday was the first minutes with the team, today will be tested to see if he can travel to Birmingham.
“Phil [Foden] and Jack are still in the same situation, maybe tomorrow they can play but not a lot of minutes. I don’t know. We are in a difficult position because a lot of players play a lot of minutes. We are going to see after they train today and the rest we have just 14, 15, players.”