Manchester City have signed Jack Grealish for a club-record fee after signing the England international for £100m while Pep Guardiola has explained why the transfer was done
Pep Guardiola has revealed his first impressions of Jack Grealish after he joined Manchester City for £100m.
The England international left Aston Villa – the club he has been with since he was a six-year-old – to move to the Etihad.
In the process, he has become the most expensive signing in Premier League history – beating Paul Pogba’s £89m fee.
The 25-year-old is the first major arrival at City this summer though there are plans to also sign Harry Kane and Nuno Mendes.
And Guardiola has already fallen in love with Grealish in just a few early meetings as he joins a star-studded side.
While also revealing when the forward first grabbed the Catalan coach’s attention.
“It was the first time I saw him playing,” he said. “Years ago, when I saw him for the first time.
“Sometimes it’s not possible, you have the squad, you have to invest in other parts of the team which are weaker but especially when I saw him on TV, I said this guy controls the tempo I love when he has the ball he stops before the dribble and the opponent stops as well.
“He controls the tempo when he accelerates and decelerates. Especially when I saw him when we played Aston Villa, the physicality, the mentality.
“He has many mates from the national team,” he said. We will create the best environment for him to express his incredible talent on the pitch every three days.
“He has to prove it to himself, he comes from a team who plays once a week and he will play three times a week, it’s a bit different but I’m pretty sure he’s able to do it.”
City director of football Txiki Begiristain has been named as the main instigator of the transfer after Guardiola said that he had “fallen in love” with Grealish.
He added: “I liked many things we saw, that’s why we tried, especially Txiki, Txiki was completely in love with him so that’s why we decided to try.
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“We could do it because we could sell, otherwise Jack would still be a Villa player.
“We believe that he will be perfect for us and for the age, quality plus he is English.
“I’m sure he will be an incredible player for the national team and we’re delighted to have him with us.”