Manchester City star Jack Grealish has revealed that his dad gave a fake name to Manchester United scouts when they showed interest in the youngster.
The 26-year-old won his first major honour with City on Sunday but revealed his dad had to come up with a quick-witted way of avoiding interest from local rivals United when he was a member of Aston Villa’s Under-10 side.
Grealish signed for Aston Villa when he was six before officially starting with the club’s Under-10 side three years later.
Man City’s Jack Grealish (right) revealed his dad (left) gave a fake name to Man United scouts
The 26-year-old won his first major honour with City as they clinched the Premier League title
Grealish signed for Aston Villa when he was six before officially starting with the club’s U10s
After joining Villa’s academy the England international was supposed to leave his Sunday League team, Highgate United, but he couldn’t resist returning for a small tour with his former side.
While on tour, he attracted the interest of a few big sides, including United, but claimed his dad gave a fake name to the scouts to avoid being caught out.
Speaking to The Face, he said: ‘You’re not actually meant to go back and play with your old team, but they were doing a little tour down in Devon and we played against some team in the group stages. We won 4-0 and I scored all four.
‘That was when people were like: “OK, this kid’s good.”
’Then I got scouted by other teams like Man United, West Brom and Birmingham City. But [at] those times I was contracted to Villa, so I shouldn’t have been playing. When they came up to my dad, he’d have to give a fake name!’
The 26-year-old poses during a photoshoot for British magazine The Face this month
The midfielder opened up on his life on and off the pitch in the magazine’s monthly edition
The England international discussed his youth and his £100million move to City last summer
Grealish has come along way since his Villa Youth days, captaining the Midlands outfit’s first-team before making a blockbuster move to City last summer.
He became the most expensive English player ever through the £100million move but has appeared to struggle in Pep Guardiola’s side this term, scoring only six goals in 39 appearances.
Reflecting on the move, Grealish admitted his price tag means there is more pressure on him to deliver.
‘I’ve noticed that when you move for this price, you can’t make any mistakes – and that’s on and off the pitch,’ he said.
‘When I was at Villa, if I [made] a bad pass and it went out of play, it wouldn’t really matter. Now it’s like: “He’s worth £100 million and he can’t pass the ball?”‘
But his departure from his boyhood club has brought him success after he won his first Premier League title on Sunday with City – the team’s fourth in five years.
And he appeared to enjoy the celebrations as he stumbled out of the team’s party at The Ivy in Manchester with assistance, having promised he would make the most of winning the Premier League for the first time in his career.
Grealish poses with a bottle of beer to start his title celebrations with Manchester City before sharing a photo with kitman Brandon Ashton at Yhe Ivy restaurant later in the night
Grealish leaves The Ivy restaurant in Manchester at 3am, with some assistance from security
The £100million midfielder was looking bleary eyed following City’s post-match celebrations
The midfielder’s post-match celebratory drinks had long since started before he even got to The Ivy as he posted a photo of him sipping a lager in the City dressing room with the caption ‘Ooffft the first of many’ while adding an emoji of a couple of beers.
Grealish then enjoyed the rest of the evening along with his team-mates at the Manchester restaurant, posing for pictures along with City’s kitman Brandon Ashton as the celebrations continued long into the night.
Post-match, £100million star Grealish had informed Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane that the celebrations would start immediately, before promising to go on for the next three nights at least.
Riyad Mahrez and Grealish take photos during the bus parade while captain Fernandinho is keeping a close grip on the Premier League trophy which they won after a dramatic final day
Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne raise their thumbs up for the camera while they enjoy a drink
During the post-match celebrations, Keane jokingly told Grealish: ‘Keep off the top shelf! Stick with beer.’
To which, the England international responded with: ‘Not for the next three nights, no chance, maybe four.’
Keane then added: ‘Enjoy it Jack, enjoy it, why not. Fantastic, well done.’
And Grealish did continue his celebrations for another day during City’s trophy parade as he and his team-mates were spotted with beers in their hands on top of the bus.