City buy Kalvin Phillips, stake in Palermo
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
English Premier League champions Manchester City bought an England midfielder and a controlling stake in an Italian club yesterday.
City said they completed the expected signing of Kalvin Phillips, who left his home town and boyhood club Leeds at age 26 to sign a six-year contract.
The value of the transfer was not disclosed, though was reported to be PS45 million.
In an emotional message to Leeds fans on social media, Phillips said it had been a privilege to play for "this amazing club" and praised former manager Marcelo Bielsa as the best he had seen.
Man City's parent company City Football Group (CFG) later completed a deal to take a majority stake in Serie B team Palermo -- its 12th club in full or joint ownership.
"This is a very special club," group chief executive Ferran Soriano said in a statement, "and our role will be to add value to all of the things which make it so special and steadily improve performance on and off the pitch, using our experience and know-how."
Newly promoted to the Italian second tier, Palermo join a portfolio which includes New York City, Sichuan Jiuniu in China and Mumbai City in India.
Palermo have won two promotions in four seasons, and club president and chairman Dario Mirri will stay in those roles, the club said.
"We wanted to find the right investor with a deep knowledge of football to help to continue to take us forward," Mirri said.
The CFG holding company is 77 per cent owned by an investment fund of the Abu Dhabi royal family.