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From record signing to Man City misfit – Grealish faces uncertain future at the Etihad

From record signing to Man City misfit - Grealish faces uncertain future at the Etihad

Jack Grealish may have to consider a departure from Premier League title holders Manchester City considering his status at the club has significantly diminished this season.

The Cityzens forked out £100 million to lure him away from Aston Villa in 2021, becoming the club’s record signing, but his time at Etihad Stadium has been a mixed bag.

He struggled to get going in his debut campaign but stepped things up last term, notching five goals and 11 assists in all competitions as Pep Guardiola’s troops claimed a famous treble.

However, the 28-year-old appears to have reverted to his old ways, having failed to make any significant contribution to City’s title defence this term, although injuries have plagued his season.

Grealish has struggled with a groin problem for most of the campaign but returned to the fold in City’s 6-2 mauling of Luton Town in the FA Cup fifth round.

While he suffered a relapse in the build-up to the Manchester derby, Grealish has also struggled for minutes when fit, starting just seven Premier League games.

Guardiola has previously expressed frustration with the England international, who has failed to replicate his form from last season and has lost his starting berth to Jeremy Doku.

The Spanish tactician recently sent a warning to Grealish, and his remarks have sparked talks of a potential rift between the pair behind the scenes.

After three years at the Etihad, winning every domestic and continental trophy available except the League Cup, the time may have come for Grealish to move on from the Premier League champions.

Even though clubs have yet to knock on his door, Grealish’s dream move to the Etihad is slowly turning into a nightmare and a departure may be needed to salvage his career.

Where could he go?

There’s every tendency Grealish will opt to remain in the Premier League in the event of a City departure, but his options in the English top flight are significantly limited.

While the Cityzens are yet to slap a price tag on the winger, he’s valued at approximately £60m on Transfermarkt and City will be determined to recoup some of the £100m they paid for him.

Mikel Arteta has a penchant for shopping from his former employers, but Arsenal are unlikely to make a move for Grealish with Spanish wonderkid Nico Williams firmly on their summer wishlist.

Newcastle United and Manchester United are also likely destinations. But the pair are facing a summer window that could be heavily limited by the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.

A fairytale return to Villa would undoubtedly be the heartwarming story of the summer, but City are unlikely to sanction a cut-price deal for the Birmingham club.

Securing a move to a top European team abroad could also be tricky, considering his uninspiring form this term. That leaves Saudi Arabia as the likeliest landing spot for the Englishman.

The free-spending Gulf State have a habit of plucking established stars from Europe, and Grealish could be the next to land a mega-money contract in the Middle East.

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