Sports Desk, Aug 5 (EFE).- Manchester City on Thursday announced the signing of midfielder Jack Grealish to a six-year deal, a move that adds even more firepower to the English league’s top attacking side.
The Citizens paid Aston Villa a whopping fee of 100 million pounds ($139.3 million) in what amounts to the biggest transfer in Premier League history, eclipsing the 93.25 million pounds that Manchester United paid Serie A side Juventus for Paul Pogba in 2016.
The 25-year-old Englishman, who developed his game at Villa’s youth academy and played his entire career with the Birmingham club save for a loan stint at Notts County eight years ago, will join a star-studded midfield headed by team captain Fernandinho and vice captain Kevin De Bruyne.
In 213 appearances with the Lions dating back to 2013, Grealish scored 32 goals and notched 41 assists and was a fan favorite at Villa Park.
“I am incredibly happy to have joined Manchester City,” Grealish was quoted as saying on the Citizens’ website. “City are the best team in the country with a manager (Pep Guardiola) 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.”
Grealish also praised Manchester City’s “amazing” facilities and said he cannot wait to “get started, meet everyone and get playing.”
For his part, the Citizens’ soccer director, Txiki Begiristain, extended a warm welcome to a player he described as an “incredible talent” and recalled Grealish’s key role as a super-sub during the recently concluded Euro 2020, in which England finished runner-up to Italy.
“Jack’s development over the past few seasons both for club and country has been plain for everybody to see. His natural talent together with his commitment to improve as a player, has seen him become one of the most exciting attacking players in world football today,” Begiristain said.
Alluding to Grealish’s creative flair, he predicted the midfielder will be an instant favorite at Etihad Stadium.
“I am certain that the fans are going to love seeing him in our team. Pep loves the way he plays, and we all feel he is an ideal fit for Manchester City. Our style and his style are a perfect match. I’m excited to watch him over the coming years.”
The Citizens are looking to further bolster an already potent side that reached their maiden Champions League final this year but lost 1-0 to Premier League rival Chelsea in the May 29 championship match.
Manchester City, winners of five of the last 10 Premier League crowns, now have Tottenham Hotspur superstar Harry Kane in their sights as Guardiola and company look to make another key move before the Aug. 31 closing of the summer transfer window. EFE