LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City have completed the signing of England full back Kyle Walker from Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur on a five-year contract, the club said on Friday.
British media reported the fee for the 27-year-old was 50 million pounds ($64.75 million), making him the world’s joint most expensive defender along with centre back David Luiz, who left Chelsea for Paris St Germain in 2014.
“Manchester City are delighted to announce the signing of England international Kyle Walker. The right back joins from Tottenham on a five-year deal and has opted to take the number two shirt,” City said on their website (www.mancity.com).
“I am thrilled to be signing for City and can’t wait to get started,” Walker said. “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.”
With Tottenham known for driving a hard bargain in transfer negotiations, add-ons for appearances and trophies could take the eventual fee for Walker even higher.
However, City will be happy to have acquired one of the quickest defenders in the world and a player who was in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Season last term.
Walker played 228 times for Spurs in six years at the club. He made his England debut in 2011 and now has 27 caps.
”Kyle is a fine full-back, one capable of producing quality at both ends of the pitch, said Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football.
”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 am sure he will be a success at Manchester City this season and beyond.”
Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy were all released by City at the end of last season, meaning they were missing a recognised right back in the first-team squad.
After missing out on Brazilian Dani Alves, who played under Guardiola at Barcelona but completed a surprise move to Paris St Germain on Wednesday, the City boss stepped up his pursuit of Walker to ensure City were not caught short in that position.
Championship club Sheffield United had a 10 percent sell-on clause on any profit inserted into the deal which saw Walker and fellow full back Kyle Naughton join Tottenham in July 2009.
Walker, 27, played on loan at United, as well as Queen’s Park Rangers and Aston Villa, before returning to Spurs.
($1 = 0.7722 pounds)
Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru and Steve Tongue in London, editing by Ed Osmond and Ken Ferris