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Manchester City set to sign Delph for £8m

Manchester City are on the verge of making Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph their first major signing of the summer, Goal can confirm.

Delph will move to the Etihad Stadium in an £8 million deal and sign a long-term contract that will see his wages rise to £100,000-a-week as City continue their home-grown recruitment drive.

The England international understands he will be a squad player at City but has been assured he will be granted a similar level of first-team opportunities to what James Milner enjoyed in his five-year stint at the club.

Delph was set to be a free agent this summer before signing a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Villa in January, but the deal included an £8m release clause that City have wasted little time in activating.

Villa have already moved to replace the outgoing 25-year-old by signing Senegal international midfielder Idrissa Gueye for €12.7m (£9m) from Lille.

But losing one of the emerging leaders of his squad will be a significant blow to boss Tim Sherwood, particularly given that captain Ron Vlaar is out of contract and actively considering offers from rival Premier League clubs as he weighs up his future.

Christian Benteke is also the subject of serious interest from Liverpool, though Goal understands the Merseysiders are unwilling to meet the £32.5m release clause that Villa are demanding be met if they are to part with their star striker.

City, meanwhile, hope the signing of Delph will prove just the start of a significant summer transfer spend as they pursue key targets Raheem Sterling and Paul Pogba to reignite their Premier League title aspirations.