Fabian Delph: A look at how the transfer saga unfolded

By Saj ChowdhuryBBC Sport
Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph
Christian Benteke (left) and Fabian Delph were definitely not leaving Villa...

From praise for loyalty to vilification for a change of mind - Fabian Delph's move from Aston Villa to Manchester City has found a place in the all-time transfer sagas scrapbook.

Only a few days after publicly stating he was committing his future to Villa, having been on the brink of joining City, he has made an almighty U-turn and joined Manuel Pellegrini's side.

We look back at eight days of transfer saga:

Friday, 10 July 2015

Aston Villa
Aston Villa tweeted a picture earlier on Friday that included Fabian Delph modelling the club's new kit

Having featured in an Aston Villa tweet promoting next season's new kit earlier in the day, the BBC and several other media outlets learned that the England midfielder was set to have a medical at Manchester City. The North West club had triggered the £8m release clause.

Pete Colley
Sky Sports' Pete Colley, who covers the Midlands, was also adamant Delph was set to head to the North West

Some football followers keenly pointed out Delph's comments when he signed a new four-and-a-half year contract with Villa in January.

Here was a reminder from a Villa fans' blog:

My Old Man Said

Saturday, 11 July

The first twist of the week - when Delph released a statement through the Villa website:

Aston Villa

Although some questioned his decision to turn down a move to a "bigger" club, other football fans, like Arsenal supporter Steven Parkhill, praised the decision to stay put.

Stephen Parkhill

Tuesday, 14 July

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood
"He never ever indicated to me that he wanted to leave," Tim Sherwood on Fabian Delph

So all was good and well at Villa. Delph flew out to join the rest of his team-mates at the Portugal training camp.

It was a squad that had been strengthened by the signings of English full-back Micah Richards and midfielders Scott Sinclair and Idrissa Gueye. Belgium striker Christian Benteke, who was then reported to be a target of Liverpool, also travelled with the club.

Villa manager Tim Sherwood said: "I knew there was interest from Manchester City and few other clubs who had shown a lot of interest in Fabian as I expected for such a small fee on the buyout clause.

"But he never ever indicated to me that he wanted to leave."

Friday, 17 July

Then came a second twist - Delph had change of heart. Rumours that he was set to make a U-turn and join Man City surfaced early on Friday when a sharp-eyed member of the public tweeted:

Tim Kelly

Tim probably had, before BBC Sport's David Ornstein, confirmed that Delph's £8m move to City was back on. This news came a few hours after it was reported Liverpool had met a £32.5m release clause for Benteke.

David Ornstein

It is understood Delph had informed club owner Randy Lerner of his latest decision on Thursday.

Understandably, the reaction from Villa fans ranged from disappointment from that which was slightly more vitriolic, with a dash of humour.


But by Friday evening, the saga was all over:

Manchester City tweet