Jack Grealish would like to be “one of those Steven Gerrards” and spend his entire career at Aston Villa, says Kevin Phillips, but interest from Manchester United is expected to be too good to turn down.
A big-money transfer is said to be in the offing for the talented 24-year-old playmaker when the next window swings open.
Having proven himself on a Premier League stage, Grealish is considered to be ready for a step up English football’s grandest ladder.
Old Trafford may be the next rung he hits, with the Red Devils in the market for more creativity and prepared to splash the cash on top targets.
Villa will be reluctant sellers if an approach is made, especially if they preserve their top-flight status, but it is looking increasingly likely that a deal will be done.
Phillips admits that Grealish, as a boyhood Villans fan, will leave with a heavy heart, but it is difficult to see him being a one-club man when the opportunity is there to better himself.
“I am not sure about this because Jack Grealish loves Villa so much so it really would not surprise me if he wants to stay with his boyhood club in the Premier League,” former Villans striker Phillips told Football Insider.
“I can see him being one of those Steven Gerrards.
“On the other hand, Manchester United look like they are really going to have a go and sign some players to get them back to where they once were.
“It is difficult. If I am Jack Grealish and I had the chance to go to Manchester United, I would go. Simple as that. No matter what league I am in.
“But he is such a diehard Villa supporter, a local lad so I could see him staying.
“However, if they do go down I do not think he will be left with a choice. Manchester United is like Real Madrid or Barcelona for me, you go.”
Grealish has made no secret of his desire to grace the very top of the game, as he also chases down senior international recognition with England, but has stopped short of being dragged into a transfer debate.
Plenty are making noises for him, with many of the opinion that his ability and confidence would be well suited to a prominent role at the Theatre of Dreams.