Silly season well and truly begins.
The Sun, yes that great bastion of reliability, have claimed an exclusive today suggesting that Manchester United are tracking Jack Grealish as an alternative option to Shakhtar Donestsk midfielder Fred.
United are already believed to have secured the Brazilian’s capture and it’s the paperwork that needs to be completed, but as if by magic to link the two reports, the red top suggest that Grealish is on their ‘for the future’ list despite there being absolutely nothing to back up their claim.
The report goes on to link Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld, but you can only get so much into a click-bait headline can’t you.
Now I have no doubts Grealish is on their scouting radar, especially given his development this season following his return from injury as he has certainly started showing his worth in a side that is hardly renowned for free-flowing attractive football. I have no doubts he’s not on the scouting lists of all the Premier League clubs and no doubt some major ones abroad as well.
But being on a list doesn’t imply somebody is being lined up for the ‘future’ or the ‘long-term’ or however they want to spin this invented piece of speculation.
Are we in for a summer of questions about Jack’s future – absolutely. His performances this year will have brought him to the attention of many, but Jack’s own words about knuckling down and having moments of realisation following his kidney injury do not lend themselves to him jumping ship at the first time of cash being offered.
The ‘new’ Jack is barely a season old, so having matured (whilst I no doubt accept he would back himself on any move) wouldn’t it make more sense to stay and ensure game time as he seeks further improvement.
Wouldn’t it also make sense that if presumed bigger boys come calling, he again focused on increased chances of game time – not likely to happen if a side have already signed a £44million international who will take in the World Cup this summer.
Until the Fred signing is over the line, this is just going to be rehashed by the media and trotted out every few days and it will only kick start Leicester rumours and others.
But if we want to panic about Jack leaving us this summer, we certainly shouldn’t bother doing it because a red top throws in the words ‘Manchester United’.
If he performs like he did this season in 2018/19 and increases his productivity, then we can panic about the Manchester United’s of the world knocking on the door.