Fabian Delph has performed a u-turn and signed for Manchester City, just days after pledging his future to Aston Villa.
City met the release clause of £8million for Delph last weekend, but just as it appeared as though a move to the Premier League runners-up was inevitable, he pulled out of the deal at the last minute and instead revealed he would stay at Villa where he had been appointed as club captain.
Yet on Friday news broke that Delph was now interested in sealing a move to City, to the surprise and disappointment of the Villa supporters. Having undergone a medical in Manchester and agreeing personal terms, the England international has now attempted to explain the reasons for his u-turn.
“Leaving Aston Villa is the hardest decision I have ever had to make,” said Delph. “As has been widely reported, I initially turned down the opportunity to join Manchester City. That decision was purely down to the love I have for Aston Villa and their great supporters. When I was made captain of Villa it was a huge honour for me and I took the responsibility incredibly seriously.
“I signed a new contract last season [January 2015] with the view of staying at the club for the duration of the deal and never with the intention of leaving a year later. My decision to stay initially was purely based on the emotion and feelings that I hold for the club and the people there rather than looking at the football opportunity that had been placed in front of me.
“I have been immensely proud to captain such a great club and want to thank everyone at Aston Villa – most importantly the fans – for the amazing support they have shown me during my time there. I am now excited for the future with Manchester City and helping the club to succeed.”
Delph becomes the second England international to join City in the past week, after the Blues sealed a club record £49million deal for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling. Their latest midfield addition will now fly out and link up with his new team-mates on their pre-season tour of Australia.