Sunday People

Blues set to Nic £30m forward

- By Tom Hopkinson

treated to the Dentist’s Chair (inset, top). It was all a big laugh. Then suddenly, it wasn’t.

So I just don’t think there’s any value in being seen in the state Grealish was in. And if England had been facing Holland, Germany or Italy, he’d have given Gareth Southgate a quandary.


People might say, ‘But the City players will have been told they’d miss the first game and we’ve always known it was going to be Malta and then only North Macedonia’.

Look, Ederson said the City lads enjoyed a really good night before he joined up with Brazil. And Ruben Dias certainly did by the sounds of it. But that was one night.

Grealish has a history now that goes back to photos of him collapsed on a street in Marbella.

I just don’t want to see pictures of him in 25 years, nursing a bottle and people talking about him in the same way they talk about Gazza.

It’s a lifestyle choice and while Grealish represents Gen Z, he needs to remember that nobody gives a damn about the majority of them and they aren’t going to end up on the back or front of a paper. The things he does now will also stick with him – Dwight Yorke was the consummate pro but after dating Katie Price he developed a party boy reputation and he can’t get an opening as a manager where he wants to all these years later.

Robbie Fowler was tagged in with the Spice Boys and has struggled to get the opportunit­ies he perhaps felt he deserved.

It’s not necessaril­y fair... but it’s the way it goes.

I just don’t want the brutal reality of having a relationsh­ip with alcohol, or being seen to have one, to bite Grealish now or down the line.

I LOVE Trent Alexander-arnold as a footballer but I fear that, just as he’s always going to be England’s fourth or fifth-choice right-back, the same will be true of him in midfield. He’s a great player, world class, but he’s not getting in ahead of Declan Rice or Jude Bellingham for the biggest games, maybe not even John Stones, and probably not in front of James Maddison or Phil Foden.

CHELSEA hope to thrash out a deal with Villarreal for Nicolas Jackson this week after agreeing personal terms with the forward.

But they could yet face competitio­n from Tottenham.

The Blues have an agreement in principal with Jackson on a four-year contract and are happy to meet the £30million release clause.

Meanwhile, Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has agreed personal terms with Manchester City over a proposed move.

And Chelsea are set to offer Brighton Conor Gallagher in part-exchange for top midfield target Moises Caicedo.

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