Jack Grealish became the most expensive British footballer ever by completing an historic £100million move to Manchester City.
The 25-year-old underwent a medical at the City Football Academy and signed a six-year contract worth more than £200,000 a week.
Grealish revealed the driving force behind leaving his boyhood club, Aston Villa, was winning major trophies after City triggered the release clause in his contract last week.
The England star will look to carry his class from Villa to the Etihad this season
‘I am over the moon. To come and play for a club like Manchester City is obviously massive for me personally,’ Grealish said.
‘It was obviously 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 couldn’t say no to. I am absolutely delighted to be here.
‘Trophies are the main reason why I joined. There are obviously a lot of reasons why I decided to come here. The manager has been a massive factor; playing under the best manager in the world was something I couldn’t really turn down.
‘Obviously the players that we have got here, I think everyone knows how much I admire Kevin [De Bruyne]. It is going to become a dream come true to play alongside him. But competing for major trophies is something that I wanted to do. It was something I couldn’t turn down.’
Grealish posed alongside Txiki” Begiristain after signing the bumper contract
City spent heavily to bring in Pep Guardiola’s man. The British record has changed on 17 occasions since the Premier League’s inception, passed between the division’s largest clubs, with City now setting it for the second time after the £32.5m capture of Robinho in 2008.
City, who broke their club record last season when taking Ruben Dias from Benfica for £62m, have recouped around £50m in player sales this season. They hope to double that total before the end of the month, before factoring in the potential departure of Bernardo Silva.
Grealish added: ‘I have been here now for 24 hours and the whole club has been unbelievable for me and my family. It just feels like a family club, even when I am at the training ground, when I am here.
‘It seems like a proper football club going in the right direction, challenging for titles, for the Champions League and that is why I have come here.’
Grealish said the main reason he joined City was for trophies after signing his huge deal
Earlier on Thursday, Grealish was seen leaving Manchester City headquarters as he closed in on his move.
Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday that Grealish had started his medical at City’s Etihad training ground after the Premier League champions activated a clause in his contract last week.
And Grealish was seen in the back of a large black van outside City’s training complex on Thursday with the final formalities of the deal later completed.
Grealish (back seat) was seen leaving Manchester City headquarters earlier in the day
Grealish moves away from boyhood club Aston Villa despite signing a new deal a year ago
Grealish will now get the platform he has craved and many felt he deserved after his cameos for England at Euro 2020. The midfielder was mostly used from the substitutes’ bench by Gareth Southgate but was a regular face on the Three Lions’ route to the final.
He now joins a superb core of England talent currently in Pep Guardiola’s squad, with Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker all playing at the Etihad Stadium.
Sportsmail revealed in March that City had become favourites to sign Grealish and they have maintained a dogged pursuit. They opened official talks last week and offered the £100m clause figure in full on Friday.
Grealish has only just returned to pre-season training after playing for England at Euro 2020
How Sportsmail led the way on Grealish
Sportsmail’s Chris Wheeler reported back in March that City were favourites to sign Grealish this summer.
Matt Hughes revealed back in May that City were ready to make Grealish English football’s first £100million star.
And in June, we revealed that City’s £100m bid was set to be enough to land Grealish despite Villa’s offer of a new contract.
Grealish returned from holiday in Dubrovnik at the start of this week and remained respectful to his boyhood club by resuming training. He spoke with sporting director Johan Lange and discussed taking the next step up in his career with chief executive Christian Purslow and chairman Nassef Sawiris.
Villa had tried hard to convince Grealish to stay. They had offered him a new deal, barely 11 months after he signed his last, and outlined their ambition to challenge the top six.
They underlined that ambition by pulling off a shock £30m swoop for Southampton striker Danny Ings – to take their spending to £60m in just one day.
They confirmed the £30m arrival of Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey – a move exclusively revealed by Sportsmail last month – earlier in the day.
Villa have also added £40m man Emiliano Buendia to their squad from Norwich earlier this summer, who is very much an attacking in a similar mould to Grealish.
The Midlands’ club’s supporters also tried to convince their club captain to remain at the club this week whilst he was posing for pictures with Villa fans at their pre-season training camp.
Aston Villa fans tried to urge Grealish to reject Manchester City’s offer at their training camp
The 25-year-old departs Villa having spent his entire career at his boyhood club, barring a season-long loan spell at Notts County in the 2013-14 season, with the midfielder developing from academy product to club captain.
He made 213 appearances at Villa Park since making his debut in May 2014, scoring 32 goals and registering 43 assists.
Last season was his best campaign to date, producing 12 assists for Smith’s Villa and netting six goals, which is particularly impressive given he missed a third of the season due to a shin injury.
Last season was Grealish’s best season at Villa scoring six goals and adding 12 assists
The 25-year-old will now link up with Pep Guardiola’s (above) Premier League champions
His attention will now turn to helping City defend their Premier League title and could potentially make his debut in Sunday’s Community Shield at Wembley with Leicester.
City are also keen to add Tottenham striker Harry Kane to their squad, with the 27-year-old yet to return from pre-season training despite his holiday in the Caribbean coming to an end.
Guardiola’s side’s offer of £100m was rejected by Spurs, and there is uncertainty over whether the champions can strike a compromise with Daniel Levy.
The Spurs chairman has put a £150m price tag on last season’s top scorer, and the Kane saga is expected to drag on unless Spurs alter their demands.
Grealish joins a strong English core at Man City, including Raheem Sterling (far right)
Grealish is set for City and his England team-mate Harry Kane is also a target for the club
The Spurs talisman was due to return to pre-season training on Monday but has continued his summer holiday with an extra day in Florida.
The 28-year-old still plans to return to Spurs this weekend, but he is likely to need a Covid test at their Enfield base and complete a period of isolation before he can return to training.
He could ‘test to release’ on day five of his quarantine but even then is likely to be short of fitness for next Sunday’s opener against City, the team he is pushing to sign for.
New Spurs head coach Nuno Espirito Santo revealed he is yet to speak to Harry Kane, despite the Portuguese manager being in charge of the north London club for over a month.