English Premier League runner’s up, Manchester City have activated the A?8 million release clause of Aston Villa’s English international Fabian Delph, as the club desperately try to fill in their home grown quota, as per Premier League rules.
Reports coming from England, suggest that Fabian Delph is set to undergo a medical with City after agreeing personal terms with the club, in the next 24 hours, as the Etihad outfit, triggered the A?8 million release clause in his contract. The news comes as a huge blow for the Villans, as the 25-year-old had signed a new long term contract with the club in January only, while pledging his allegiance to the club.
Manchester City, have won the Premier League twice in the last four years, and have been regularly competing at the top in the Champions League, despite having not tasted any success as yet. The genuine chance of competing at the highest level, surrounded by some of the biggest names in football, was too good to turn down for Delph, who had reiterated in January, while extending his stay at the Villa Park, that he indeed was “a loyal person.”
City currently have only three homegrown players in their squad, with Premier League rules stating that a minimum of 8 homegrown players must be in the squad of 25 registered players. This explains the Etihad based clubs willingness to pay over the top for homegrown talents like Raheem Sterling and Jack Wilshere, with a reported A?40 million bid for Sterling, already rejected by Liverpool.
City have had a history of paying big money for average English footballers, who never had a chance of making it in the star-studded line up of Manchester City, prime examples of the same being Aston Villa’s Scott Sinclair and Everton’s Jack Rodwell. Delph appears to be of a similar mould to other City recruits, who were just signed to complete the numbers.
However, reports further suggests that Manuel Pellegrini has assured Delph, that he is not just being signed to fill the numbers, but would play an integral role in City’s title challenge this season. How Delph would fit in a midfield full of international stars like Yaya Toure, David Silva, Samir Nasri, Fernando and Fernandinho, is yet to be seen. While their apparent pursuit of Paul Pogba further raises doubts over the future of Delph even before he has been signed by the Etihad based club.
The 25-year-old midfielder captained Aston Villa to the finals of the FA Cup at Wembley last season, where they were thumped 4 – 0 by an Alexis Sanchez inspired Arsenal. The transfer of Delph is supposed to be completed over the weekend, and would be a reason of huge concern for Sherwood, as he prepares his squad for pre-season in Portugal, with an heir of uncertainty looming over their star player, Christian Benteke, who has been linked heavily with a move to Liverpool.
Aston Villa’s new recruit and fellow English International, Micah Richards had the following words of warning for the departing Delph-
a Every player wants to play at the highest level. If hea s going to be playing Champions League, I dona t know, but if hea s going there to be a squad player, then no. James Milner has played six or seven positions and still wanted to leave.
a So if he gets assurances hea s going to play then the decision is his. I wouldna t say dona t go to Manchester City, because if hea s playing well he could play.a
Would Delph do another Jack Rodwell and fade into oblivion, after having been touted as the next big thing of English football, or will he hold his own in the star-studded ranks of Manchester City, is the biggest question here. One which even Delph cannot answer, with utmost confidence, but one which can only be answered at the end of this season, which is yet to begin.