The 25-year-old midfielder joins on a six-year deal after the Premier League champions activated the release clause in his Villa contract; the move eclipses Paul Pogba's 2016 transfer to Manchester United and becomes the biggest in British football history
Friday 6 August 2021 17:41, UK
Manchester City have signed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m in the biggest deal in British football history.
The 25-year-old midfielder joins on a six-year deal after the Premier League champions activated the £100m release clause in his Villa contract on Friday.
The transfer fee also breaks the previous record in English football held by Paul Pogba when he re-joined Manchester United for £93.25m from Juventus in 2016.
Pep Guardiola has been a long-time admirer of Grealish with the player leaving Villa having made 213 appearances over the course of eight seasons, scoring 32 goals.
Man City also confirmed Grealish will wear the number 10 shirt, which was recently vacated by the departure of long-serving striker Sergio Aguero.
On the announcement, Jack Grealish said: "I am incredibly happy to have joined Manchester City.
"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."
Director of Football Txiki Begiristain added: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Jack Grealish to Manchester City. He is an incredible talent.
"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."
Birmingham-born Grealish, who had four years remaining on his Villa contract, penned an open letter to Villa fans on Twitter and 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."
Aston Villa Chief Executive Christian Purslow also spoke to fans directly to explain the circumstances around Grealish's departure via a live broadcast on VillaTV.
Purslow explained the release clause was inserted into the contract the player signed last summer with the agreement that if it was met by a Champions League club they would let him leave.
A number of clubs expressed an interest after the Euros, but all offers were well below the release clause
"It was a highly emotional moment when he finally told me his decision, leaving me in no doubt how hard it had been for him to leave our club, which he had joined when he was six years old.
"Ultimately he said it boiled down to wanting to play Champions League football now."
Manchester City have smashed the British transfer record by signing Jack Grealish from Aston Villa for £100m - but where will the silky-skilled forward fit at City?
Man City outscored every other team in the Premier League last season and have now bolstered their ranks further by signing the versatile 25-year-old forward, meaning Pep Guardiola now has nine key attackers to rotate in his squad.
Grealish joins Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Ferran Torres among his midfield and forward options, with five starting berths typically up for grabs.
So who would start among the embarrassment of riches or will Guardiola rely on rotation to appease his stars?
Sky Sports' Peter Smith:
Aston Villa supporters have been hailing him for years, celebrating a special talent which had emerged from their youth ranks. It took some time for supporters of other clubs to get on board but Grealish and his X-factor has won over all the judges now. At Euro 2020, the sound of England supporters cheering his warm-ups and chanting his name, urging Gareth Southgate to throw him into the action, was the perfect illustration of that.
He appeared for just 137 minutes at that tournament but he was a major story throughout. His two assists and cameos off the bench were a tantalising glimpse of what England had in the locker and drove the conversation about how they should attack.
It is that enticing, exciting game-changing potential which makes him such hot property.
Inside Wembley this summer, the change in approach from opposition defenders when he came into the game was clear to see. They dropped deeper. They doubled up. They looked nervous and wary of what might come next. It's a growing trend we've seen in the Premier League and Grealish's skill and reputation have now earned international respect, too.
That tantalising possibility of what Grealish could do at the top end of the Premier League or in the Champions League is clearly a question being pondered at Manchester City. The great Guardiola attracted by the potential of greatness from Grealish.
It's a pivotal moment in his career and, just like during the Euros, there is real intrigue with what happens next.
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