Manchester City have overtaken cross-town rivals Manchester United in the race to sign Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.
Manchester United were in the driving seat to land Grealish last summer.
They eventually decided against pursuing a deal for the Englishman after being quoted a figure of around £80million.
After being priced out of a move for the 25-year-old playmaker, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer splurged £35m to bring Donny van de Beek from Ajax.
However, the Dutchman has turned out to be a massive flop at Old Trafford, having registered only two Premier League starts this season.
On the other hand, Grealish has gone from strength to strength at Villa Park, continuing to deliver jaw-dropping performances week in, week out.
The Villa youth academy graduate has racked up six goals and 12 assists in 26 top-flight appearances, guiding his side to the threshold of European football.
Grealish put pen to paper on a new five-year contract last summer after failing to complete his switch to the Theatre of Dreams.
As a result, the Lions are likely to increase the asking price for their standout performer, with growing interest from leading Premier League giants aiding their cause.
According to the Daily Mail, Manchester City have leapfrogged United in the race for Grealish’s signature, as Pep Guardiola looks to add to his midfield options.
The Red Devils’ interest in the Villa captain has dwindled since last summer, creating the opportunity for the Citizens to seize it.
With the coronavirus crisis continuing to strike damage on football clubs’ finances, only a handful of European sides can afford to meet Villa’s £100m valuation of the English playmaker.
City, however, are one of the rare clubs to have managed to cope with the financial turmoil and could build a strong case for Grealish at the end of the season.
In the meantime, United could rekindle their interest, but only if they are able to bring the player’s price down.
Grealish himself could be tempted to leave his boyhood team for the lure of competing for trophies, something he is unlikely to achieve at Villa.