Kyle Walker is now the most expensive defender in world football, after Manchester City completed a deal worth £53million to take him from Tottenham Hotspur.
The England international has been a target for Pep Guardiola for much of the summer, and it always looked likely that the Spaniard would get his man. Despite featuring heavily last season, Walker would likely have been behind Kieran Trippier in the pecking order at White Hart Lane next term.
For that reason, and the fact the former Sheffield United fullback wanted to return north, Mauricio Pochettino was prepared to let him leave. And the transfer to the Etihad Stadium has now been completed, with the 27-year-old signing a five-year contract with the Manchester club.
“It feels a bit surreal,” Walker said. “I have been at Tottenham for so many years, but I’m excited about beginning a new chapter in my career. I can’t wait to get started. I’m thrilled to be signing for City. With the size of the club, we need to go on and pick up silverware, get trophies left, right and centre.
“Tottenham was a great club. It helped me to get me to where I am now. I’ve learned a lot, especially under Mauricio Pochettino, he’s been fantastic with me. But sometimes your path isn’t there and you have to move on. Just win trophies – that’s all I’m about and all I want to do now.”
City will pay an initial fee between £45million and £50million for the right back, with add ons taking the total price to a figure in the region of £53million. This makes him the most costly defender in world football, surpassing the £50million Paris Saint Germain paid Chelsea for David Luiz in 2014.
Walker is also now the most expensive English player in history, a record previously held by his new team-mate Raheem Sterling who moved from Liverpool to City for £49million in 2015. John Stones, another new colleague, joined the club from Everton for £47.5million last summer.
Guardiola has now made three additions to a squad which ended last season without a trophy. Bernardo Silva was the first new arrival when he was signed from Monaco in a £43million deal, and this was followed by Benfica goalkeeper Ederson who joined for £34million.