Knight Completes Manchester City Move
Sunday, 1st Jul 2018 22:25
Academy youngster Ben Knight has revealed that he has completed his move to Manchester City.
The 16-year-old (pictured above, front, second right) confirmed that he had joined the Premier League champions’ youth set-up on Instagram.
“Delighted to have signed for Manchester City,” the England U15 and U16 international wrote. “Thanks everyone at Ipswich for an amazing eight years. Time to move on and continue to work even harder.”
Town are set to receive just over £1 million for Knight, although some reports claim the Blues will get an initial £700,000 plus further top-ups as the youngster’s career progresses.
Prior to committing to City, Knight, who joined Town aged eight, turned down a move to Tottenham, a switch which TWTD understands would have been more lucrative to the Blues.
However, Knight and his family were set on the move to the Etihad Stadium, a switch we understand was close to going through towards the end of last season. The player and family finally made their decision last week and they travelled to Manchester to finalise the details relating to the switch, with the news of the deal breaking on Thursday.
Knight, the nephew of former England and Essex cricketer Nick, agreed a scholarship with Town several years ago, which was due to start in July, and also a subsequent professional deal, but the Blues were ultimately powerless to hold on to the highly-rated number 10, as was the case with striker Charlie Brown when he joined Chelsea in 2016.
Former boss Mick McCarthy said at the time of the Felixstowe-based striker's departure: “It’s just one of those things, you can’t do anything about it. You have to just make the best deal you can.”
Had Town been unable to agree a fee with City for Knight, the matter would have gone to a tribunal and the Blues may well have ended up receiving a lower figure.
Owner Marcus Evans is hugely frustrated by the loss of Knight and an academy system so heavily weighted towards the bigger clubs and we understand is set to make a statement on the move now it has been completed.
In addition to the footballing side of their academy, City, where former Blues keeper Richard Wright and ex-U23s coach Mark Kennedy both now work, offer their youngsters a full private education programme.
In addition to City and Spurs, all the other top Premier League clubs had eyed Cambridgeshire-based Knight during his time at Playford Road, while Borussia Dortmund and Monaco were among the overseas sides who are believed to have shown interest.
Knight is the player Town head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug referred to as "potentially the best player" he has worked with at the Supporters Club AGM last year, while academy coach Kieron Dyer once compared the diminutive youngster’s style of play to that of Argentine star Lionel Messi.
The Blues also look set to lose another promising youngster with 15-year-old Canadian Marcelo Flores, whose father Ruben is a coach at Playford Road, interesting Arsenal.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona are also among the clubs believed to have been tracking Flores.
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