Jack Grealish wouldn't get into Manchester United's team, according to Darren Bent, who says the Aston Villa star cannot play alongside Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.
United have been tipped to launch a summer bid for Grealish as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks to put the finishing touches on a squad rebuild at Old Trafford.
Villa have reportedly placed an £80 million ($100m) price tag on a prized asset to ward off all potential suitors, but the Red Devils could end up securing a cut-price deal if Dean Smith's side are relegated from the Premier League.
Grealish has stood out in a side that have looked destined for the drop throughout the 2019-20 campaign, scoring seven goals and laying on six assists in 31 appearances.
Former Red Devils striker Michael Owen expressed his belief that the 24-year-old's style of play would complement Solskjaer's side better than Pogba before the season restarted after the coronavirus-enforced break last month.
However, Pogba has rediscovered his best form since returning to action, striking up a formidable partnership with €55 million (£50m/$62m) January signing Bruno Fernandes in midfield.
Bent insists there is no place for Grealish at Old Trafford while a world-class duo are pulling the strings in the middle of the pitch, with United also currently boasting the most prolific attacking trio in the top flight in Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.
The ex-Villa striker told talkSPORT: "I can’t see him getting in that United team. Just because there’s no way on the planet United could have them three in the middle of the park - Fernandes, Pogba and Grealish because defensively they would get run all over.
“I just think, you look at their front three - Martial, Rashford and Greenwood - he is not going to get in up there.
"I am not quite sure United need him in midfield if I am honest. He has got all the ability but he is not going to take Fernandes’ spot or Pogba’s and you are not going to put him in there as well. Pogba doesn’t really want to play holding midfield.”
Grealish and Co. are currently preparing for a crucial meeting with United at Villa Park on Thursday, when they will be hoping to end a miserable nine-match winless streak.
The Red Devils, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last 16 games in all competitions, and are now only two points adrift of Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish.