Michael Owen believes Jack Grealish "has his heart set on Manchester United " amid speculation the English midfielder will leave Aston Villa this summer.
But the former Red Devils striker warned the deal to take Grealish to Old Trafford will be harder to complete in light of Villa avoiding relegation from the Premier League.
The 24-year-old scored as the Midlands club drew with West Ham United to secure their top-flight status on the final day of the season.
Grealish enjoyed a fantastic season, scoring 10 goals and providing eight assists in 41 appearances across all competitions.
And although he captains his boyhood club, Owen believes the time has come for Grealish to make a move which will take his career to new heights.
“I think he’s after Manchester United as well, Owen told Premier League Productions . "I’m told he has his heart set on Manchester United. I’d be surprised if he went anywhere else.”
The ex-England forward also admitted United will need to pay more to land Grealish due to Villa ensuring their survival in the Premier League.
But he believes "exceptional" Grealish – who is valued at £80million – is worth every penny of a big-money offer.
Owen added: “He’ll be more expensive now to possible suitors. There is that tie now that it’s his team and they’re still in the Premier League.
"It would have been an easier decision if they went down. You can’t have someone like that playing in the Championship.
"He’s a top player, he would suit an awful lot of teams; he’s exceptional.
“People compare him to James Maddison and others like that but I think he’s head and shoulders above him. He can run with the ball well, score goals, he’s in double figures this season, he assists.
“He’s actually much better out of possession and I think that’s where this season he has developed that side. He covers a lot of ground.
"He’s not one of those flashy players where you give him the ball and he turns it on, he actually works hard out of possession as well."
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