LONDON: England midfielder Jack Grealish has joined Manchester City in a British record £100m transfer from Aston Villa.
City submitted an offer last week which activated a £100m release clause in Grealish’s contract at Villa who have replaced him in buying Danny Ings from Southampton.
Grealish, 25, leaves Villa having made 213 appearances over the course of eight seasons, scoring 32 goals.
The Premier League champions had been heavily linked with England midfielder Grealish all summer, with a reported £100m British record deal agreed.
City confirmed Grealish will wear the number 10 shirt, which was recently vacated by the departure of long-serving striker Sergio Aguero.
“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.”
Birmingham-born Grealish admitted it was not an easy decision to leave his boyhood club.
“It was obviously a difficult few months because I have been an Aston Villa fan for my whole life,” he said.
“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. I am absolutely delighted to be here.”
Grealish revealed the chance to play Champions League football next season and to push for top club honours were key to moving to City this summer.
City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain hailed Grealish as “an incredible talent”.
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.
“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.”