Monaco's Mendy completes record City move

AFP
Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy signs a mega five-year contract with Manchester City making him the world's most expensive defender.
AFP
AFP

France defender Benjamin Mendy eyes the ball during a friendly match against Paraguay at the Roazhon Park stadium in Rennes, France, in this June 2, 2017, photo. The Monaco full-back has signed a bumper five-year contract with English Premier League giant Manchester City.

Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy on Monday signed a mega five-year contract with Manchester City making him the world's most expensive defender.

The 23-year-old, who joined the French champion from Marseille last summer, has agreed a deal reported to be worth a record 52 million pounds (US$67 million) for a defender.

The France player will link up with his new teammates in the United States where Pep Guardiola's side is preparing for its second preseason tour game against Real Madrid in Los Angeles.

"I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester City," Mendy said. "They are one of Europe's leading clubs and in Pep Guardiola they have a manager committed to playing attacking football.

"I am sure that over the next few years we will be successful."

Tottenham's Kyle Walker and goalkeeper Ederson are the other players to join a new-look City backline with Mendy's Monaco teammate Bernardo Silva coming in to bolster midfield.

Guardiola was desperate to add Mendy to his full-back options after releasing Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta this summer, but City's original 44.5-million pound offer was rejected.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss had already lured England right-back Walker to the Etihad Stadium in a deal which could be worth up to 54 million pounds and Monaco wanted a similar amount for Mendy.

The deal took a while to complete, but City's director of football, Txiki Begiristain, was pleased to have secured their first-choice target.

"Benjamin has all the qualities we are looking for in a full-back. For such a young player, he has a wealth of top-level experience," the Spaniard said.

"He is undoubtedly one of the world's best full-backs, our No. 1 target in this position. We are all delighted to have him here at Manchester City.

"I'm sure he will prove a fantastic addition to the squad."

Mendy becomes City's fifth major signing of the summer and takes the club's spending to more than 200 million pounds.

The English Premier League giant, which has already raided Monaco in the close season having signed Silva, on Sunday welcomed another full-back, Real Madrid's Danilo.

Mendy made his France debut in a 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Luxembourg in March, and won Ligue 1 in his first season with Monaco.

City finished third in the EPL last season behind champion Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.


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