Grealish 'to have spells on bench' at Man City
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Man City have completed the biggest signing of the summer so far in a £100million deal to prise Jack Grealish away from Aston Villa. The astronomical fee eclipses the British transfer record, formerly held by Man Utd who paid £89m for Paul Pogba back in 2016.
Following the agreement of personal terms and a medical, Grealish put pen to paper at the Etihad regarding a contract which will keep him in Manchester until 2026.
Given he will be approaching his thirtieth birthday by that point, he has essentially committed to spending his prime years at City.
Pep Guardiola is believed to be a long-term admirer of the playmaker, and the club opted to activate his release clause in the wake of Euro 2020.
Villa attempted to fend off interest by tying him down to a lucrative new deal, although Grealish has seemingly been swayed by a desire to expand his trophy cabinet.
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According to Sky Sports, Villa were even willing to put more money on the table than the Blues, believed to be over £200,000-a-week.
Having been with the claret and blue for almost two decades, Grealish did not take the decision lightly to leave his boyhood club.
The 25-year-old had been on an extended break following a hectic domestic and international campaign, although he returned to pre-season training this week.
The saga has prompted a mixed reaction from Villa fans, given Grealish was instrumental in their progress over the past few seasons.
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The West Midlands side have been busy in the transfer market in an effort to offset the loss of their talisman.
To the surprise of virtually everyone, Danny Ings was unveiled as a Villa player on Wednesday, while Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia have also arrived as eye-catching recruits.
Villa boss Dean Smith now has a big job on his hands, given his side’s poor performances last season while Grealish was injured.
Exactly where the player will fit in under Guardiola has been a topic of hot debate, although the Athletic claim that he will most likely figure in a central role, rotating with Ilkay Gundogan.
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Having notched six goals and ten assists last campaign, Grealish is also noted for his chance creation and his eagerness to get on the ball.
Given that City already have a wealth of attacking talent, departures are expected to follow, with Bernardo Silva a likely casualty of the Englishman’s arrival.
The lucrative deal marks the Blues’ first major signing this summer, as they attempt to avenge their heartbreaking defeat in May’s Champions League final.
With an even more lucrative deal for Harry Kane a possibility, Grealish may not lay claim to the transfer record for long.
Ultimately, Grealish and City coming together is a statement of intent from both parties. Guardiola’s side are refusing to take their foot off the gas when it comes to domestic dominance, while Grealish is hungry for team accolades in the wake of a disappointing Euro 2020 final defeat.
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