Match of the Day star Gary Lineker comments on Jack Grealish decision after the ace leaves boyhood club Aston Villa for Premier League champions Manchester City in record transfer
Should Grealish feel bad over leaving Villa for City?
Gary Lineker has backed Jack Grealish’s transfer to Manchester City with a heartfelt message online.
Grealish completed his £100m switch to the Premier League champions last night in a move which smashes the British transfer record.
The England star had been at Aston Villa – the club that he and his family support – since the age of five.
The decision had clearly not been an easy one to make, with Grealish posting an emotional farewell to the Villa supporters on his social media platforms after the switch was confirmed.
It’s a situation that has resonated with Lineker, who has publicly backed the playmaker’s decision.
The Match of the Day presenter tweeted: “I know how hard it is to leave the club that you’ve supported since you were a small boy.
“The club that you dreamt of playing for.
“The club that you love.
“It’s brutal, but you get one playing career and sometimes your head has to rule your heart.
“Good luck, Jack.”
Lineker is a big Leicester City fan and the former England striker began his career at his boyhood club, making his debut for the Foxes back in 1979.
The 60-year-old would depart Leicester six years later, switching to league champions Everton – a scenario which is strikingly similar to Grealish’s current situation.
Grealish finally sealed his record-breaking deal last night after penning a six-year deal at the Etihad.
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The fleet-footed technician has been torn over whether or not to make the switch, before finally agreeing to link up with Pep Guardiola’s side this week.
The pull of working with Guardiola and playing Champions League football swayed the England ace in moving to Manchester.
“I am incredibly happy to have joined Manchester City,” Grealish said.
“Over the past 10 seasons, they have won major trophies consistently.
“Pep 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.”
Meanwhile, Villa chief executive Christian Purslow revealed that a clause in Grealish’s contract left them powerless to keep their talisman.
“Jack wanted to be certain that if at any point a Champions League club came in for him and Aston Villa was not in that competition, that we would not stand in his way,” Purslow told VillaTV.
“For that reason, we agreed to incorporate a so-called release clause into his contract. Our board set this clause at a value of £100million, knowing that would be, by some way, a record price for a British footballer and also a record fee for any player bought by a Premier League club.”
It was a clause which would ultimately fail to deter City, as they smashed the previous British transfer record of £89m to get their man.
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