Fabian Delph explains Manchester City change of heart to Aston Villa fans

The Aston Villa captain performed a double U-turn and signed for City just days after confirming he was staying at Villa Park.

New Manchester City signing Fabian Delph has provided a message to Aston Villa fans surely smarting from his decision to renege on staying at the Midlands outfit, which was released to media outlets such as Sky Sports.

After joining the 2013/14 Premier League champions earlier on Friday, Delph felt the need to open up about his indecision regarding staying or leaving Villa.

Below is his statement in full, as shown on Sky Sports:

"Leaving Aston Villa football club is the hardest decision I have ever had to make.

"I have had some amazing times and made great friends during my time at the club. I will always be thankful to them for giving me the opportunity to play in the Premier League.

"As has been widely reported, I initially turned down the opportunity to join Manchester City. That decision was purely down to the love I have for Aston Villa and their great supporters.

"When I was made captain of Villa it was a huge honour for me and I took the responsibility incredibly seriously. I signed a new contract last season with the view of staying at the club for the duration of the deal and never with the intention of leaving a year later.

"My decision to stay initially was purely based on the emotion and feelings that I hold for the club and the people there rather than looking at the football opportunity that had been placed in front of me.

"I have been immensely proud to captain such a great club and want to thank everyone at Aston Villa - most importantly the fans - for the amazing support they have shown me during my time there.

"I am now excited for the future with Manchester City and helping the club to succeed in the coming season and beyond."

The England international was being tracked by Manuel Pellegrini's side last week, and a move to the Etihad looked on the the cards into last weekend after the 25-year-old took a medical up in Manchester.

But to the surprise of many, Delph ended up rejecting the proposal from the Citizens on Saturday, and then went on record as saying he was set to stay at Villa Park.

"I'm not leaving," Delph was quoted as saying at the time by BBC Sport. 

"I'm staying at the football club and I can't wait for the start of the Premier League season."

The midfielder had signed a new contract in January extending his time at Villa for a further four and a half years, but it included an £8 million release clause according to Sky Sports, and interest from City remained into this week despite his snub last weekend, culminating in a resurrection, and subsequent completion of a move that will certainly have disappointed supporters of his old club.

Delph played 134 times for Villa, scoring 8 goals, after joining from Leeds United in 2009, with his last game for the club being the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal in May.

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