Man City sign £100m Grealish from Villa

Manchester City unveil new signing Jack Grealish at Manchester City Football Academy on August 05, 2021 in Manchester, England.

Manchester City have signed England midfielder Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for a British record £100m.

The 25-year-old joins the Premier League champions on six-year contract and will wear the number 10 shirt recently vacated by Sergio Aguero.

The fee surpasses the £89m Manchester United paid to re-sign midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus in 2016.

"City are the best team in the country with a manager considered to be the best in the world," said Grealish.

"It's a dream come true to be part of this club."

The move makes Grealish the ninth most expensive footballer in history.

He could make his debut for Pep Guardiola's side in Saturday's Community Shield against Leicester at Wembley.

A boyhood Villa fan, Grealish joined the club aged six and went on to make 213 appearances in all competitions, scoring 32 goals.

He said: "It was obviously a difficult few months because I have been an Aston Villa fan for my whole life, but when I spoke to the manager here and you see what type of players they have got here, in the end it was something I couldn't say no to.

"Competing for major trophies is something that I wanted to do. It was something I couldn't turn down."

City director of football Txiki Begiristain 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."

In an address to supporters explaining the reasons behind Grealish's sale, Villa chief executive Christian Purslow revealed there was a £100m release clause in the five-year deal he signed last summer.

"Jack wanted to be certain if at any point a Champions League club came in for him and Aston Villa were not in the competition we would not stand in his way," said Purslow.

"For that reason, we agreed to incorporate a so-called release clause. We set the value at a level we hope would not be met, but reflected his true value to Villa."Manchester City said they would be willing to pay £100m to trigger the clause.

"It was a highly emotional moment when Jack finally told me his decision, leaving me in no doubt how hard it had been for him to decide to leave."

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