Jack Grealish would “walk into” the Manchester United team, says Gabriel Agbonlahor, with the Red Devils expected to be interested in a £70 million ($91m) upgrade on Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata.
A raid on Villa Park by the Red Devils has been mooted for some time as the performances of England hopeful Grealish in 2019-20 have seen his stock rise once more, with the 24-year-old proving that he can star among the Premier League elite.
Agbonlahor concedes that the talented playmaker is likely to leave Villa at the end of the season, despite vows from the club’s board to keep on spending.
The former Villans striker told Stadium Astro: “It’s a tough one but Villa’s owners have come out and said they want to keep spending.
“This season, they’ve got a squad together, lost a lot of players in the summer - stay up, that’s the only goal, then they’ll go again in the summer.
“If they go down, I think he’ll leave. If they stay up, it could be 50-50. If Villa go out there and spend another £100m maybe…
“If they go out and spend, he’s getting better players around him. I know him, he won't want to leave. He’s the captain.”
If a transfer door is opened for Grealish, then there will be plenty of suitors.
United are expected to lead the chase, with Agbonlahor considering a fellow product of Villa’s academy to be the perfect fit for a Red Devils side in need of greater creativity.
The ex-England international added: “Man Utd, Villa might say, ‘You know what, it’s going to cost you £70m.’ I think Man Utd pay it. He’d walk into that side, they’re missing that creativity.
“Tottenham he walks straight into, Arsenal side he walks straight into. I don’t think you can compare [Giovani] Lo Celso with Jack, how Jack’s playing, they’re different qualities he’s got to these sort of players.
“I just think he could fit into those teams. But I don’t think he wants to leave Villa. Villa are a massive club, big history, if they can get the right players in the summer, he’s the captain, the team will be built around him. There’s some times you don’t want to leave.
“I think he walks into that United side, you’ve seen the troubles with [Jesse] Lingard, [Juan] Mata. But I just think Villa aren’t going to want to sell him no matter what.”
Grealish has recorded eight goals and six assists for a Villa side this season that need him to continue stepping up with talismanic performances as skipper.