Potential signings formed a key part of Guardiola’s own negotiations for a new contract, which was signed last week, as he realises the need to overhaul this team.
A number of potential options were discussed - including Harry Kane and Lionel Messi - but the Catalan is a huge admirer of Grealish, who he sees as a highly buyable player who can also restore a spark to City’s play.
The Independent has been told that Guardiola has discussed the 25-year-old’s quality with Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian was effusive in his praise of Grealish after his country's recent 2-0 win over England, describing him as a player City must try and sign.
Manchester United had previously been favourites to sign Grealish this summer, only to balk at a price of around £70m amid the Covid crisis. That value has only gone up.
With no move in the summer after Villa’s survival, Grealish signed a new five-year deal in September, and it is understood that involves an agreement that he cannot leave Villa Park for less than £100m.
Many close to the player however feel it is only a matter of time until he makes the step up to one of the big six.
City - and specifically Guardiola - are currently the most intent on his signature.
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