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Jack Grealish has been urged to head for City over United if a move to Manchester is to be made at some stage in the future, with Gareth Barry speaking from experience when it comes to offering transfer advice to the Aston Villa playmaker.
Barry was, like Grealish, a product of a Villa’s academy system and an ambitious England international looking to further himself by chasing down major honours at a heavyweight outfit.
Grealish has seen a similar switch mooted, with United having been monitoring his situation for some time, and a scramble for his signature is expected to be sparked once an exit door swings open.
North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal have been told to put themselves the mix if a creative midfielder comes up for grabs, but Barry believes the Etihad Stadium would be a perfect landing spot for the talented 25-year-old.
He has told talkSPORT: “I’d say: ‘for now, keep enjoying your football’. He’s captaining his boyhood club and that’s given him the freedom and the confidence that’s been key to the way he’s playing.
“He knows where he is until the end of the season, he should try and get Aston Villa into a European spot. He’ll want to be playing European football and if he can be doing that for Aston Villa next season then that would be fantastic for him and the club.
“But the stories aren’t going to go away, he’s playing too well. It’s not just going to be one team that wants his signature; it’s going to be four or five across Europe.
“It’ll be interesting times for Jack and for Aston Villa in the summer but looking with a Villa head on, it would be great if we seeJack Grealishplaying European football for Aston Villa and not anyone else.”
Pressed on which club he would like to see Grealish join, Barry added: “I would love to see him work under someone like Guardiola.
“That manager could help him learn more about the game, improve more. I’d go for Manchester City if you make me choose one.”