In a shocking development in Manchester City’s pursuit of £8 million-rated Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph, the 25-year-old England international completed a dramatic u-turn, committing his immediate future to Aston Villa in a statement on the club’s official website.
He quashed all rumors surrounding a move, and said: “I’m aware there has been intense media speculation surrounding my future in the last 24 hours and I want to set the record straight.
“I’m not leaving. I’m staying at the football club and I can’t wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club.”
It was understood that Delph was due for a medical at City after Villa had accepted an £8 million bid that met his release clause, but this announcement has clearly put paid to City’s hopes of acquiring Delph’s services, and although future developments are possible, it is likely Pellegrini and Co. will have to look elsewhere to find long-term replacements for Yaya Toure.
Initial rumors surrounding Delph’s impending departure to the Etihad were met with severe criticism from Villa supporters after the former Leeds United midfielder had signed a four-and-a-half-year contract in January of this year, but the club’s resurgence under manager Sherwood, and Delph’s announcement, along with the signings of known Premier League quantities Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards, will give Villa fans hope for a positive Premier League season.
In other news, Newcastle United confirmed their first signing of the season, with Dutch attacking midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum joining from PSV Eindhoven in a deal worth £14.5 million. The 24-year-old’s transfer shall be a welcome addition to a squad that saw its attacking members woefully under-perform during the 2014-15 Premier League campaign that saw the club narrowly avoid relegation on the final day of the season.
The fee is the third-highest ever paid by Newcastle, and the highest paid during owner Mike Ashley’s time at the club, and will come as a signal of the team’s intention to rise up the table.
“I’m delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” Wijnaldum said.
“I felt the time was right for me to move and the club have shown they really want me.
“There are a few players here who are from Holland – I know them well and they will help me feel at home at Newcastle. I cannot wait to get started.”
Newcastle remain linked with a move for Serbian striker Aleksandr Mitrovic.