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Man Utd legend Ferdinand ranks Grealish above Maddison amid ongoing transfer speculation

14:29 EAT 21/03/2020
Jack Grealish, James Maddison
The former defender says the Aston Villa midfielder has the edge over the Leicester talisman in terms of his ability to "manipulate the ball"

Rio Ferdinand has described Jack Grealish as a more complete player than James Maddison, as the pair continue to be heavily linked with Manchester United.

Grealish has built on an outstanding 2018-19 campaign with Aston Villa during which he played a key role in their promotion from the Championship, successfully transferring his form to the Premier League.

The 24-year-old has contributed seven goals and six assists to Villa's cause in 26 outings this term, with talk over a possible call-up to the international stage with England increasing with each passing game.

Maddison, meanwhile, has already experienced life with the Three Lions senior squad, having been included in Gareth Southgate's final shortlist for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo back in August.

The playmaker has just one England cap after coming off the bench against Montenegro, but he continues to impress at club level with Leicester, who are currently pushing hard for a top-three finish in the Premier League.

United have reportedly identified both men as summer transfer targets, with the general consensus among experts being that only one of them will end up completing a move to Old Trafford.

Ferdinand has expressed his belief that Grealish may be the better option for the Red Devils, insisting the Villa star's arrogant streak holds him in good stead to reach the very highest level of the game.

"Grealish or Maddison? That’s a good question," The ex-United centre-back responded during a Q&A with his followers on Instagram.

"They’re both flying, both done unbelievably well over the last year. They’re very different players. Maddison is someone who can get the ball, he can pop it about.

"He gets goals, gets assists, sets up chances, he’s sharp, he gets in good positions to create things. Very good footballer. I like him.

"Grealish does all of that but he has one thing over all these players we talk about in this position for England like Dele Alli, Maddison, Mason Mount in that position, that attacking [style] that can play off the striker, that can play as an attacking midfielder.

"Grealish can take people on. Grealish gets the ball, he can manipulate the ball, draw players to him… draw one/two players to him leaving space for someone else.

"That’s what I like about Grealish. He’s got that bit of arrogance as well. Knows he’s a good player that’s producing. He just edges it for me."