Manchester City have completed the signing of England midfielder Jack Grealish on a six-year deal, the Premier League champions announced on Wednesday.
City have reportedly paid Villa a fee of around £100 million ($139.8m) for the transfer of Grealish, making him the most expensive signing in British football history.
“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.
“The facilities are amazing, and I honestly can’t wait to get started, meet everyone and get playing.”
Grealish, 25, has spent his entire career at boyhood club Aston Villa - save for a loan spell at Notts County in 2013/14 - and was made captain in March 2019, helping the club gain promotion to the Premier League that season.
Villa were engaged in a relegation battle in their first campaign back in the top flight but Grealish still excelled, while last season's mid-table finish owed plenty to the excellence of their captain, who scored six goals and produced 10 assists despite a few injury absences.
Grealish enjoyed a successful summer for England for whom he played his part in helping the team reach their first major final in 55 years at Euro 2020.
“We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Jack Grealish to Manchester City. He is an incredible talent," City's 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.
“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.”
Villa have moved quickly to replace Grealish having confirmed the signing of Jamaican winger Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday followed by a deal for Southampton striker Danny Ings.