Manchester City have completed the £50m signing of England and Tottenham right back Kyle Walker. The deal is officially worth £50m upfront with adds-on of £3m, ensuring Walker is not only the most expensive English player of all time, but the costliest defender too.
The previous record was a straight £50m switch from Chelsea to Paris-Saint Germain for David Luiz back in 2014. City manager Pep Guardiola is believed to have been desperate to complete a deal for Walker following Dani Alves’s snub, opting to switch to PSG instead of a reunion with his former Barcelona boss. After a initial delays in movement, Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain, City’s Director of Football, pushed through a deal with Daniel Levy through fear of missing out on another key target.
It is thought that Walker will pocket around £150,000 per week at City, but the move is certainly not about money; his pay-packet at Tottenham will was reportedly £75,000 when he signed a new deal back in September. Rumours circulated originally back in May that Walker was keen on a move away when Mauricio Pochettino began to rotate the player with Kieran Trippier, reportedly due to ‘fitness issues’ – which Walker vigorously disputed.
The reasons he considered the move to City too good to miss out on was the chance to work with Guardiola, famed for his experience in creating top class attacking full backs, the opportunity to win trophies with a highly ambitious club, and to be close to good friends John Stones and Raheem Sterling, of whom he knows through international duty.
Upon arriving at Manchester City, Walker said: “With the size of the club, we need to go on and pick up silverware, get trophies left, right and centre, and hopefully that can add to my CV because I haven’t won that many things so far in my career. 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 and what a place to come and take a different path. Just win trophies – that’s all I’m about and all I want to do.”
Walker’s hometown club Sheffield United will also receive £5m from the transfer thanks to 10% sell-on fee they placed in the deal that took the player from Sheffield to Tottenham back in 2009.
If City were to be successful, add-ons to Tottenham reportedly include £500,000 for each time they qualify for the Champions League, £1m for a Europa League title success, £1.5m for each Premier League title win and £2.5m for Champions League glory.
Last season’s PFA Team of the Year member could soon be joined by Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy, according the bookmakers odds. City’s ambitious summer certainly appears far from over right now.