In 2018, Tottenham Hotspur made a £25 million bid for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish. It was an offer that raised eyebrows, but Villa refused to sell.
Three years later, Manchester City signed Grealish for a staggering £75 million, making him the Premier League’s most expensive-ever player at the time.
So, what exactly happened during those pivotal negotiations in 2018?
Grealish’s father, Kevin, offered his perspective in a recent interview, highlighting the discrepancies in Tottenham’s approach.
“I said (to Tottenham); ‘put some real money on the table,’” Grealish Sr. explained candidly. “I didn’t want to see the club of our hearts robbed of money.”
In hindsight, it’s clear that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s reluctance to increase the offer cost the club the chance to sign one of the most talented English footballers of his generation. Grealish went on to become a treble-winner with Manchester City, winning the Premier League title and the Champions League.
For those wondering why Levy is such an unpopular figure among sections of the Spurs support, Grealish Sr.’s comments provide a clear explanation. Levy’s refusal to meet Villa’s valuation of Grealish ultimately proved costly for Tottenham.
Grealish Sr. admitted that he had doubts about his decision to reject Tottenham’s offer. “I thought (when rejecting Spurs); ‘have I made a complete fool of myself? Have I messed it up? And will Jack ever get the chance to play against such great players?”
However, Grealish’s remarkable journey since his move to Manchester City has put those doubts to rest. He has become a regular in a Man City side competing for the biggest prizes against the toughest opposition, proving that his potential has most definitely not gone unfulfilled.