Kyle Walker is set to become the world’s most expensive defender and England’s costliest player of all time, after Tottenham Hotspur accepted a bid worth £53 million from Manchester City. The package includes £3m of add-ons.
David Luiz cost £50m when he moved from Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain in 2014, but Walker’s deal when completed will set a new record.
Walker’s move had been expected, with Pep Guardiola having made the signing of full-backs a priority after letting Pablo Zabaletta and Bacary Sagna go. Pep had made Walker his No1 target at right-back.
The negotiations over Walker have been protracted, with Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, feeling empowered to drive the hardest of bargains. Walker was the best right‑back in England last season, according to the Professional Footballers’ Association, which named him in its team of the year, and, at 27, he is not only highly experienced in the Premier League but about to enter his prime.
Levy wanted the basic figure of £50m and City were reluctant to go above £40m but, in the end, they paid up to break the deadlock, after missing out on Dani Alves, another right-back target, earlier in the week – the Brazilian has gone to PSG, having left Juventus as a free agent.
City are also trying to sign the left-back Benjamin Mendy, who has been left out of Monaco’s squad for a pre-season tour of Switzerland. Talks are also on over the loan of the goalkeeper Joe Hart, with West Ham United confident they are close to an arrangement. City have also signed Bernardo Silva for £43.6m from Monaco and Ederson for £34.7m from Benfica.