Man City on verge of signing Kyle Walker after agreeing £50m fee with Tottenham
Manchester City will make Kyle Walker the world’s most expensive defender after agreeing a deal with Tottenham Hotspur that could exceed £50million.
As first revealed by Telegraph Sport on Thursday, City have agreed to pay £50m for Walker, plus add-ons that could see the final fee reach £53m, to take the right-back to Manchester.
David Luiz previously held the title of being the world’s most expensive defender after moving to Paris Saint-Germain from Chelsea for £50m in 2014.
But Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has ensured that City will eclipse that record for Walker if the add-ons are achieved, having also forced Real Madrid to pay a then overall world record £85m for Gareth Bale in 2013.
Walker had been scheduled to return to Tottenham for pre-season training on Thursday, but will instead finalise his switch to City and undergo a medical before joining his new team-mates for the tour of America.
City and Tottenham had been locked in talks for weeks over Walker, with Levy refusing to drop his £50m valuation.
But after missing out on right-back Dani Alves to Paris Saint-Germain, City eventually relented and agreed to match Tottenham’s asking price instead of risk losing another of Pep Guardiola’s targets.
Walker fell out of favour under Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino last season after having his head turned by City’s interest.
The 27-year-old informed Pochettino that he wanted to leave White Hart Lane towards the end of the campaign and it was decided that Spurs would allow him to go if their valuation was met.
Pochettino preferred Kieran Trippier for many of Tottenham’s biggest games in last season’s run-in and the 26-year-old signed a new five-year contract after playing his way into the England squad.
In Trippier, Pochettino has a ready-made replacement for Walker although Tottenham are on the lookout for a new right-back.
Talks have been held over a £22m move for Porto’s Ricardo Pereira, but progress has been slow due to a dispute over who represents the player, while Bayer Leverkusen’s Benjamin Henrichs has also been scouted.
Despite strong interest from Manchester United in Eric Dier, Tottenham are adamant that Walker will not be followed out of the door by any more key players.
Spurs will listen to offers for Moussa Sissoko, Vincent Janssen and Kevin Wimmer, but maintain Dier is not for sale.
Argentine defender Julian Foyth is close to joining Tottenham from Estudiantes for around £9m, while Pochettino remains interested in Ross Barkley and Josh King.
Everton are also looking at Bournemouth forward King, but are likely to have to drop their £50m asking price for Barkley.
Having finally landed Walker, Guardiola will now turn his attention to adding a new left-back to his squad and make a new bid to Monaco for Benjamin Mendy.
City have failed with one offer for Mendy, but are likely to return with a bid in excess of £40m.
If they are unsuccessful in reaching an agreement for Mendy, then City will try to persuade Southampton to sell Ryan Bertrand.
Bertrand is interested in a move to City, but would cost in excess of £30m after signing a five-year contract with the Saints last summer.
Having picked PSG ahead of City, Alves apologised to his former Barcelona coach Guardiola.
“There was not only interest from Manchester City, but from other English clubs,” said Alves.
“I have often said the Premier League intrigues me a lot and there is a very interesting project there, too. I did speak with City officials.
“But I have friends here (in Paris) and my wife loves this city. I was a little bit selfish when I went to Juve, I didn't listen to my wife or friends. This time, I tried to be less selfish and to please everyone.
“I believe in happiness - that's why I made the decision to come here. If Guardiola feels wronged, I apologise.”