Manchester City have announced the signing of England international Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in a record-breaking transfer on the eve of the new Premier League season.
The Etihad giants first started readying a purchase in June as Grealish prepared for Euro 2020, where he was part of the Three Lions team which lost to Italy in the final on penalties.
After negotiations between the two clubs, it was confirmed on Thursday that a full agreement had been reached, with 25-year-old Grealish officially switching allegiances for a reported £100 million ($139 million) after penning a six-year deal.
The fee is a record outlay for an English club, surpassing the £89 million that City’s crosstown rivals Manchester United paid to re-sign Paul Pogba from Juventus in 2016.
“I am incredibly happy to have joined Manchester City,” Grealish said in a statement.
“City are the best team in the country with a manager considered to be the best in the world – it’s a dream come true to be part of this club.
“Over the past 10 seasons, they have won major trophies consistently. Pep coming here has taken them to the next level and the football this team plays is the most exciting in Europe. To play for Pep and learn from him is going to be special and it’s something any top footballer would want.
“The facilities are amazing, and I honestly can’t wait to get started, meet everyone and get playing.”
On Villa’s books since the age of six, Birmingham-born hometown hero Grealish had been the captain of the club since 2019 and was pivotal in their return to and survival in the top flight.
Last September, he signed an improved five-year deal at Villa Park and was offered fresh terms prior to Euro 2020.
Villa fans had hoped their academy product would stay on and spearhead an ambitious project boosted by the signings of Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey plus the return of Ashley Young.
Yet Grealish’s desire to test his talents in the Champions League has always been an issue, and Villa haven’t stood in the way of his wishes in becoming the most expensive English player in history.
It now remains to be seen how long he keeps that lofty tag, with City possibly capable of breaking their own record through the acquisition of Grealish’s England skipper Harry Kane.
Attempting to force an exit from Tottenham Hotspur, the striker did not report to training earlier this week.
Yet Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to sell and perhaps only offers closer to double what City have paid for Grealish may get them the striker.
Whether they can afford him now after today’s purchase, and also stay in line with Financial Fair Play regulations, will be another point that fans will wrangle about.
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