MANCHESTER, England ( Associated Press) – Manchester City on Monday acquired midfielder Calvin Phillips and acquired a majority stake in an Italian club.
The English Premier League champions have completed the long-awaited takeover of Phillips, who left his hometown and Leeds United on a six-year deal.
The cost of the transfer was not disclosed. According to press reports, 45 million pounds ($55 million) were paid for the 26-year-old.
In an emotional message to Leeds fans on social media, Phillips admitted it was a privilege to play for an “incredible club” and praised Argentine manager Marcelo Bielsa as his best ever.
He was also excited to now be under Pep Guardiola’s orders.
“Being managed by Pep is one of the things I’ve always wanted to do,” he said. “I think I’m going to learn a lot not only from Pep, but from the whole team and even from other players who are playing in my position.”
City Football Group, the company that controls Manchester City, later announced that it had acquired a majority stake in Palermo, which is currently in Serie B, Italy. It is the 12th club to have been achieved either in whole or in total.
“This is a very special club,” Group executive director Ferran Soriano said in a statement. “Our role will be to add value to everything that makes him so special and to progressively improve his performance on and off the pitch with our experience and knowledge.”
Recently promoted to the Second Division, Palermo joins a portfolio of clubs that includes New York City, Montevideo City Torque in Uruguay, Girona in Spain, Sichuan Jiuniu in China and Mumbai City in India.
The Sicilian club said that Palermo has been promoted twice in the past four seasons and that the team’s chairman and CEO Dario Miri will remain in his position.
“We wanted to find the right investor who had a broad knowledge of football to help us grow,” Miri said.
CFG is 77% controlled by a fund owned by the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi.