Kyle Walker concluded his move to Manchester City from Tottenham Hotspur on Friday in a deal that could see him become the world's most expensive defender. The 27-year-old right-back signed a five-year contract for a fee that could rise with add-ons to 61 million euros, according to English media. Walker, who has been capped 27 times at full international level, will be with the City squad as they jet out for their pre-season tour of the United States on Monday; he is to be paid a reported £150,000 a week.
Walker delighted to be on board at Guardiola's City
“I am thrilled to be signing for City and can't wait to get started. Pep Guardiola is one of the most respected managers in the world and I feel he can help me take my game to a new level”, he told City’s official club website.
Director of football Txiki Begiristain said that the club had been tracking Walker for a quite some time. “Kyle is a fine full-back, one capable of producing quality at both ends of the pitch .We've followed his progress at Tottenham and have been really impressed by how he has developed. He is now one of the best right-backs in the Premier League and justifiably an England regular. I’m sure he will be a success at Manchester City this season and beyond”.
Kyle Walker becomes most expensive defender in transfer history
Walker will cost an initial £45 million with another £5 million due in a year's time and an additional £4 million due in add-ons, according to The Times. That would break the record £50m paid by Paris Saint-Germain to Chelsea for Brazilian defender David Luiz in 2014, while also eclipsing the £49m forked out by City themselves to Liverpool for Raheem Sterling in 2015, a transfer record for an English player.
Walker established himself as the first choice right-back at Spurs under Mauricio Pochettino, but their relationship deteriorated towards the end of last season. Kieran Trippier was selected ahead of Walker in both the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea and then in the north London derby with Arsenal the following week.
His arrival will be expensive consolation for Guardiola after missing out on veteran Brazilian right-back Dani Alves, who snubbed his former Barcelona boss to join PSG on a free transfer from Juventus.
Guardiola will not be done with flexing the financial muscle of the Abu Dhabi-owned club as he is also keen to lure Monaco defender Benjamin Mendy for £40m. The 22-year-old French international left back will complete Guardiola's expensive rebuilding of his defence having let experienced full-backs Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna and Gaël Clichy leave at the end of last season. Should he succeed in signing Mendy it would take his close-season spending to over £168m; Midfielder Bernardo Silva and goalkeeper Ederson joined from Monaco and Benfica respectively for a total of £78m last month.