Stiliyan Petrov makes prediction over Jack Grealish’s future amid Manchester City and Manchester United transfer interest

Stiliyan Petrov expects Aston Villa to fend off strong interest from the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United to keep hold of Jack Grealish this summer.

Grealish, 25, has established himself as one of the finest attacking players in the Premier League over the last two seasons and was rewarded with a place in England’s 26-man squad for the upcoming European Championships.

Much of the talk ahead of the Three Lions’ opening match with Croatia has centred on Grealish’s possible inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI and Villa are said to have slapped a £100million price tag on their prized possession, with the eyes of the world watching.

Pep Guardiola is keen to strengthen his City squad with the addition of both Grealish and Harry Kane and the newly crowned English champions are reportedly favourites to secure a deal for the Villa captain.

However, ex-Villa star Petrov is confident his former club can convince the midfielder to stay on for at least another year given their recent investment under Dean Smith.

‘You can only keep Jack if you’re adding quality. To be honest, with the transfers in the last couple of years and now with the new transfers, I think they’re trying to keep him,’ Petrov told JOE.

‘I think he will stay. There’s always going to be that question but don’t forget one thing and I admire him a lot… whatever we say, this boy just loves the club.

‘Steven Gerrard, we’ve seen him and look at him. He achieved a lot with the club [Liverpool] and he’s a legend. Jack loves the club.

‘People say to me, “He has to go!”, and yeah, we all think that way but sometimes the love is even bigger than going somewhere else and he wants to achieve things with the club.

‘I believe the club will be challenged, definitely.’

The Bulgarian believes it could be Grealish’s time to announce himself on the international stage at this summer’s Euros.

‘Now in this tournament, you’re talking about who is going to be the surprise, who is going to be the profile that everybody [is looking at],’ Petrov added.

‘I think it’s his moment to do it and to shine.’

During a wide-ranging chat on talkSPORT this morning, Jose Mourinho argued that Grealish should be a nailed-on starter for England and compared Villa’s talisman to Portuguese icon Luis Figo.

‘I think Grealish is untouchable and the best position for Grealish is coming from the left which creates a situation which is, for me, [Marcus] Rashford can only play there,’ the newly appointed Roma manager said.

‘I think when Rashford plays on the right he is completely lost. His dynamics on the right are totally broken, he doesn’t find it.

‘He’s very good on the left, attacking spaces. I see Harry dropping and him attacking the space behind but Grealish is tremendous.

‘What he creates and the personality giving the ball… he reminds me a little bit of my Figo.

‘I don’t like comparisons because I am comparing with a Golden Ball winner. Figo, I had him in different periods in my career. But I had him in his last season at Inter and even in this last season he was like: “Give me the ball and I resolve the problems for you!”

‘The way Grealish gets the ball, the personality, the way he attacks people, gets fouls, gets penalties, very powerful…

‘I like him very much so I would say Grealish on the left.’

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