Jack Grealish all smiles as he signs for Manchester City

Jack Grealish had plenty of reasons to smile as he completed a record move to Manchester City. The England midfielder was signed on a six-year deal, with City reportedly paying Aston Villa a fee of around £100 million ($139.8m), making him the most expensive signing in British football history.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Manchester City unveil new signing Jack Grealish at Manchester City Football Academy on August 05, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Grealish, 25, will wear the number 10 shirt, which was vacated following the departure of striker Sergio Aguero.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Manchester City unveil new signing Jack Grealish at Manchester City Football Academy on August 05, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

The midfielder, who still had four years remaining on his Villa contract, scored six goals in the Premier League last season, also providing 10 assists. He also helped England reach the final of Euro 2020 at Wembley.

After the record signing, Grealish said: “Competition for places is something that I thrive off and I think everyone needs to be kept on their toes.

“There is so much talent here and I just cannot wait to get in and amongst it and speak with these guys. I still think I am young, I am only 25, so I can still learn from all these people.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Manchester City unveil new signing Jack Grealish at Manchester City Football Academy on August 05, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

“I can’t wait to do that, to play and train with them and just be in and around them. You can learn from these people and I cannot wait to get started and to get playing.”

Villa CEO Christian Purslow said Grealish had signed the new contract on the condition that if a club playing in the Champions League were interested in signing him, the club would not stand in the way if they weren’t in the competition. Villa finished 11th last season, failing to qualify for the Champions League.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Manchester City unveil new signing Jack Grealish at Manchester City Football Academy on August 05, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

Purslow said a number of clubs expressed an interest over the summer in signing Grealish, though all offers were below the release clause until City agreed to pay the amount.

“Ultimately he [Grealish] said it boiled down to wanting to play Champions League football now,” said Purslow.

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