'I can't wait to captain Villa next season' - Fabian Delph rules out move to Manchester City
Published 11/07/2015 | 16:25
Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph has ruled out a move to Manchester City and insisted he will stay with Tim Sherwood's side.
Delph did not fly out with the rest of the Villa squad for their training camp in Portugal on Thursday amid strong speculation that he was poised for an £8million move to the Etihad Stadium.
But Delph on Saturday released a statement via Villa's website to dismiss the story.
"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," Delph said.
"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."
Delph was on Manuel Pellegrini's radar as City are keen to boost their home-grown quota following the loss of James Milner to Liverpool and Frank Lampard to New York City.
Delph signed a new Villa contract earlier this year with his previous deal having been due to expire this summer, but it had been reported that City would meet a release clause in that contract.
His re-commitment to the cause will come as a major boost to Sherwood, who has signed two players from City - Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards - as well as midfielder Idrissa Gueye from Lille this summer.
City are also monitoring the situation with Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, who returned to training on Friday after two days' absence with illness, and has been named in Liverpool's squad to tour Thailand, leaving on Sunday.
They have had two bids rejected, the last an offer of £40million, and have been reluctant to meet the Reds' £50million valuation but this week's developments with the England international will have offered City some encouragement if they want to try to negotiate an agreement.