Sealing the deal
Manchester City sign Jack Grealish to a record six-year contract
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Getting it done
Manchester City have made a big splash in the transfer market, signing midfielder Jack Grealish from Aston Villa to a new six-year contract.
The 25-year-old former Villa captain activated his £100 million release clause to join the reigning Premier League champions.
Grealish will wear the number 10 shirt for the Sky Blues, following the departure of record goalscorer Sergio Aguero to Barcelona.
This deal sets a new Premier League transfer record, eclipsing the previous mark set by Manchester United when they signed Paul Pogba from Juventus in 2016 for £89.3 million.
This will be the second time City have held the British transfer record, joining the signing of Brazilian Robinho from Real Madrid in 2008.
Leaving his boyhood club
By signing with the Citizens, Grealish leaves behind the Lions, a club he grew up idolizing, making 213 appearances for them throughout eight seasons and scoring 32 goals.
On his Twitter account, the Birmingham born star gave an emotional goodbye to the Villa fans, thanking them for their support.
In a statement, Grealish says “I’ll always be a Villa fan — I love this club with all my heart, and I hope you understand my reasons for seeking a new challenge. The club are in great hands, the manager, the lads, the news signings coming in — it’s an exciting time to be a Villa fan. I’ll see you all again soon. Until next time.”
While leaving a club you grew up admiring has got to be a difficult decision, there is an apparent reason why he opted out of his contract, and that is to win.
Based on his comments after finalizing his transfer, it is pretty clear that winning trophies was at the forefront of this decision.
“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 (Guardiola) 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, said Grealish.”
As good as he was during his time at Villa Grealish does not boast a lot of championships in his senior career, finishing as FA Cup runner-up in 2014-15 and the Carabao Cup runners-up in 2019-20, losing to Man City.
Not done yet?
Reports indicate this could be just the beginning for the Sky Blues as they look to sign an established number nine.
One might think the signing of Grealish might have dried them up financially, but Harry Kane could be next on their priority list.
While most clubs would not be able to afford to pay high priced talents like Grealish and Kane, City got creative when it comes to generating revenue.
The club raised £109 million through sales since the start of the pandemic. They could raise another £50 million this summer without having to sell a first-team player.
Txiki Begiristain, City’s Director of Football said “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.
“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.”
Grealish joins Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Ferran Torres in the midfield. (JSL).