Jack Grealish has called his move to the Etihad a “dream come true” after putting pen to paper on a record-breaking contract at Manchester City.
The Aston Villa midfielder has become the most expensive British player in history by commanding a £100m transfer fee – trumping the previous record of £89.3m paid for Paul Pogba by Manchester United in 2016.
Grealish has signed a six-year deal at City worth more than £200,000 a week – completing his medical at the club on Thursday (5 August).
He will take the number 10 shirt vacated by record goalscorer Sergio Aguero.
Carrying such a big price tag means the move will come with expectation, but Grealish says the challenge is something “any footballer would want”.
“I am incredibly happy to have joined Manchester City,” Grealish said.
“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.
“It was 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 could not say no to.”
“The facilities are amazing, and I honestly can’t wait to get started, meet everyone and get playing.”
Grealish also said that he would revel in the fact that he would have to fight for his place in the title-winning team.
“That is what you need,” he stated.
“It is something that I thrive off and I think everyone needs to be kept on their toes for competition for places.”
Grealish joined Villa as a six-year-old and graduated through the academy – spending 19 years at the club altogether.
Hype around the player increased after he was named Villa’s player of the season in 2020/21 and made appearances for England at Euro 2020.
Man City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain expressed elation at securing Grealish’s signature, calling him “an incredible talent”.
Begiristain added: “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.”
Featured image: Manchester City