Jack Grealish's move from Aston Villa could be completed today so what does this mean for Manchester City in 2021/22 and for the club Grealish is leaving? Max Liu has the latest...
Jack Grealish is heavy odds-on to join Manchester City after it was reported that a deal between the Premier League champions and Aston Villa could be announced today.
Talks are in their final stages and, barring unexpected problems, the playmaker should move for about £100m - a record deal between English clubs.
Signing will give champions even more of an edge
Signing Grealish, who was talismanic for Villa all season and impactful for England at Euro 2020, will strengthen their attack and should give them even more of an edge over their rivals.
Liverpool 7.06/1 and Chelsea 7.26/1 come next in the title betting but those odds reflect the gulf in class that bettors perceived between City and their rivals.
Pep Guardiola's team won the Premier League by 12 points from Manchester United in 2020/21 but the manager knows teams cannot afford to stand still. This summer, he has focussed on improving City's attack following the departure of Sergio Aguero.
City are 8/11 to sign Harry Kane who appears to be determined to force his transfer from Tottenham. The London club, however, are reluctant to sell and value the player at £160m. The champions are said to be willing to go to £130m but no higher.
What does Grealish's exit mean for Villa?
For a while last season, when his fitness was in doubt, there was a mantra about betting on matches involving Villa: "Wait to see if Grealish plays." He was so important to the team that he could turn the outcome of matches and his presence or absence could make Villa a bet or a team to avoid.
Villa finished an impressive 11th last season. They played 25 matches in all competitions with Grealish starting, winning 14, losing eight and drawing three. Without him starting they won only four.
They are 2.1411/10 for a top 10 finish in 2021/22. Manager Dean Smith will insist his team are concentrating on looking up the table and will not entertain talk of relegation for which Villa are 7.87/1.
No team is reliant on one player and Villa have already strengthened their attack by signing Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen for around £30m. They could also move for Tammy Abraham who looks likely to leave Chelsea before the transfer window closes.
Get a £5 Free Bet on Multiples - Every Day!
Place £20 worth of Multiples or Bet Builders over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £5 bet to use on Multiples or Bet Builders. Bets must settle before 23:59 on the day they're placed. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply.