Agency: Walker joins Man City in record deal for defender
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Kyle Walker became the most expensive defender of all time when he joined Manchester City from Tottenham, the player’s management company said on Friday.
Based on Base Soccer Agency’s tweet , the undisclosed transfer fee would eclipse the 50 million pounds (then $84 million) that Paris Saint-Germain paid Chelsea for center back David Luiz in 2014.
The agency also said the five-year deal to take City from a Premier League title rival was a record for an English player. The previous highest transfer fee for an Englishman was the 49 million pounds paid by City to bring Raheem Sterling from Liverpool two years ago.
Transfer deals often have add-on clauses that mean the maximum potential fee is only reached based on a player’s achievements with his new club. Neither club disclosed Walker’s fee.
The 27-year-old Walker has been one of the Premier League’s top right backs in recent years and he fills a position that has been a priority for City manager Pep Guardiola this offseason.
Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy were released last month and Guardiola missed out on Dani Alves, who opted to join PSG this week.
City finished third in the Premier League last season, 15 points behind champion Chelsea and eight behind Tottenham. Walker, who has played 27 times for England, was battling with Kieran Trippier for a starting place at Tottenham at the end of last season.
“Tottenham is a great club that helped me get to where I am now,” Walker said. “But sometimes your path is not there, you have to move on.”
Guardiola places huge importance on the role of his wide defenders to add pace and energy to his team’s attacks.
“Attacking is a big part of my game but as I said countless times, I’m a defender,” Walker said. “That’s first and foremost. If I can go and give something offensively that’s going to be a positive for the team, it’s going to give us an extra edge that we can hopefully bring teams down with to go and get the win.”
With Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes and Portugal playmaker Bernardo Silva joining City last month, the northwest club has spent nearly $160 million this offseason as Guardiola looks to build a squad capable of winning the Premier League and Champions League.
″(Guardiola) says I’m going to fit into his style of play really well,” Walker said. “The main thing we both said is about winning trophies. It’s a massive club, it’s a great team, great set of players and we need to battle to win things.”
Guardiola is still in the market for another right back and a left back. City has been heavily linked with speedy Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy.