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Luke Chadwick has urged Manchester United to "break the bank" for Jack Grealish if Paul Pogba leaves the club this summer.
The 25-year-old inspired the Villa's successful Premier League survival bid, and has taken his game to even greater heights this season.
Villa have emerged as genuine contenders for a European spot in recent months, with Grealish contributingsix goals and nine assists to their cause through 19 appearances.
United have been tipped to reignite their interest in the England international if he continues on his current trajectory, and Chadwick thinks he could be the ideal replacement for Paul Pogba.
The Frenchman has admitted that he harbours dreams of joining Real Madrid one day, while his agent Mino Raiola fuelled speculation surrounding his future by insisting he will definitely push for a transfer at the end of the season.
Chadwick would be sad to see Pogba leave, but feels Grealish could be the man to take Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to the "next level".
“I think it would be disappointing if Pogba left because he’s just coming into form and playing some of the best football he’s played,” the ex-United midfielder told Caught Offside.
“It could be that that’s because he’s looking for a move at the end of the season. But there’s no one like Pogba in world football in terms of what he offers with his style of play. When he’s good he’s very good, when he’s bad he doesn’t offer much to the team.
“It could offer Donny Van de Beek more game time and I’m sure there’ll be a lot of interest in other players in that central midfield area. You imagine if he’s going to spend a lot of money it’ll be someone who’ll play, rather than just being a squad player.
“It’ll be interesting to see if Pogba goes, what they do with the finances, if it will be to put that money into another central midfielder or to strengthen other areas, like with Jadon Sancho.
“For me, the one player I’d look to break the bank for is Jack Grealish, who has looked one of the best players in the Premier League for Aston Villa. If he was surrounded by the kind of calibre of player he would be at United I think he could be an absolute world-class player in a few years’ time.
“He looks to be positive every time he gets the ball. He can make things happen from deeper areas, he can travel with the ball.
“He always had great promise coming through at Villa and now you can see he is someone who deserves to play at the top, top level on a massive stage.