• Fabian Delph completed an £8million to Manchester City from Aston Villa
  • The transfer is one of the most controversial in Premier League history
  • Delph originally agreed City move before deciding to stay at Villa
  • The England star amazingly u-turned and was pictured arriving for medical
  • Villa fans reacted furiously as their club captain completed City transfer 

Laurie Whitwell for MailOnline

Fabian Delph’s £8million move to Manchester City will go down as one of the most controversial and bewildering in Premier League history.

Ostensibly a straightforward bit of business, Delph’s indecision over the course of a week, drawn primarily from his sense of duty as Aston Villa captain, created an inferno of reaction from supporters and stunned both clubs at various points.

The fullness of what happened over those eight days will only come out once Delph speaks properly – and even then he may be obliged to protect certain privacies – but Sportsmail can chart the chain of events in this transfer that has everyone talking.

Fabian Delph completed an £8million move to Manchester City from former club Aston Villa 

Fabian Delph completed an £8million move to Manchester City from former club Aston Villa 

Friday July 10

Delph, who had reported early back to Villa training at Bodymoor Heath four days previously, agrees to join City after extensive negotiations.

He had not flown out with his squad to Portugal for their pre-season tour as his wife Natalie was expecting their second child, but also to discuss the transfer.

The England international had originally agreed a move to Manuel Pellegrini's side before backtracking 

The England international had originally agreed a move to Manuel Pellegrini’s side before backtracking 

He is understood to have met chief executive Tom Fox to inform him of his decision, despite Villa tabling fresh contract terms increasing his weekly wage significantly.

Ray Wilkins would go on to describe the camp as ‘moping about as dark as the biggest hole on the planet’. 

Villa then announced the £9million signing of Lille midfielder Idrissa Gueye, seen as Delph’s replacement.

Tim Sherwood (left) and Ray Wilkins admitted the squad were disappointed by Delph's decision to leave

Tim Sherwood (left) and Ray Wilkins admitted the squad were disappointed by Delph’s decision to leave

Villa had moved quickly to sign Idrissa Gueye, who many people saw as the 25-year-old's replacement

Villa had moved quickly to sign Idrissa Gueye, who many people saw as the 25-year-old’s replacement

Saturday July 11

Delph fails to show for City medical, shocking both Villa and City. Instead he calls Tim Sherwood to insist he is staying and will captain the club into the new season.

He had agonised over the decision to leave the club – after six years and support through his injury troubles – and changed his mind overnight. His head is said to have been all over the place.

He issues a statement, which reads: ‘I’m aware there has been intense media speculation surrounding my future in the last 24 hours and I want to set the record straight.

As fans expected his departure, Villa announced that their club captain had decided to stay at the club

As fans expected his departure, Villa announced that their club captain had decided to stay at the club

‘I’m not leaving. I’m staying at the football club and I can’t wait for the start of the season and captaining this great football club.’

Villa play Fulham at the Stadio Da Nora, losing 3-1 but with Libor Kozak scoring on his first senior game in 19 months following a leg break. 

Delph takes to Instagram to write: ‘Great to see @lkozak27 get his first goal after a hard time with injury, hard work pays off my brother.#OnwardsAndUpwords #Tunnelvision.’

The midfielder expressed his loyalty to Villa and said he was excited to lead them in the league next season

The midfielder expressed his loyalty to Villa and said he was excited to lead them in the league next season

Sunday July 12

First report is published that Manchester United may trigger Christian Benteke’s £32.5million release clause, heightening the possibility of the Belgian striker leaving the club. Liverpool remain the front runners for his signature, but the chatter puts his departure back on the agenda.

The mood at Villa’s training base in Lagos is very positive, with Wilkins describing the commitment of Delph is ‘like a new signing’.

Reports began to emerge that Christian Benteke's release clause was going to be met by Manchester United

Reports began to emerge that Christian Benteke’s release clause was going to be met by Manchester United

Monday July 13

Micah Richards denies reports he helped convince Delph to stay, writing on Twitter: ‘If people actually think I had a influence on Delph not going to city your (sic) wrong! And I have nothing but great things to say about city!’

Delph is in contact with the club regularly and Sportsmail understands he wished to be kept abreast of transfer dealings and potential new signings.

Micah Richards publicly denied he had persuaded Delph to reject a move to City after chatting with him

Micah Richards publicly denied he had persuaded Delph to reject a move to City after chatting with him

Tuesday July 14

Sherwood speaks to media at the club’s hotel, praising Delph for staying and laughing off the suggestion the 25-year-old’s knees might have put paid to his move.

Delph is doing sessions with his personal trainer and friend Jamie Reynolds rather than heading into Bodymoor Heath each day. 

Reynolds, founder of Velocity gym in the outskirts of Birmingham by the M6, posts a video on Twitter of Delph performing a brilliant football trick shot after a workout. Reynolds starts following the official City Twitter account.

Wednesday July 15

Villa fear United may indeed trigger Benteke’s release clause but are confident of landing French Under-21 left-back Jordan Amavi from Nice for £10m.

Villa plan to press ahead with increasing Delph’s weekly wage to £80,000 as a reward for his commitment. Negotiations had been ongoing since before his first change of heart.

The club appoint its first-ever sporting director, German Hendrik Almstadt from Arsenal. Almstadt worked at the Emirates, with Fox, on technical scouting, data analytics, financial budgeting and contract management. 

Sherwood says: ‘I’m really excited Hendrik is joining. We have a lot of work to do at the football club and Hendrik will make the job I have here easier.’

Jordan Amavi's move from Nice is all but complete as Villa look to strengthen their squad this summer

Jordan Amavi’s move from Nice is all but complete as Villa look to strengthen their squad this summer

Thursday July 16

Liverpool confirm they will meet Benteke’s release clause, having previously indicated a reluctance to bid that high. Villa’s star striker wants the move and in a stroke he is set to leave.

Delph, who has been studying developments and talking the matter through with close family and friends, gets back in touch with City through his representative to resurrect the deal.

Villa are informed of Delph’s intentions late in the night and Sherwood is stunned at the second U-turn.

Sherwood was stunned on Thursday to hear that Delph had changed his mind again and was City-bound 

Sherwood was stunned on Thursday to hear that Delph had changed his mind again and was City-bound 

Liverpool also confirmed they would meet Benteke's £32.5m release clause to snap up the striker 

Liverpool also confirmed they would meet Benteke’s £32.5m release clause to snap up the striker 

Friday July 17

A snatched picture of Delph arriving at Wilmslow Hopsital for his medical is taken and posted online, sending Villa fans into meltdown on Twitter. The story emerges and by the time Delph leaves he is filmed by professional cameramen.

Within hours the news is confirmed by both clubs and Delph is photographed signing his deal, the same as originally offered, and wearing City’s kit.

He reveals Richards spoke positively about City and assisted his second second-thoughts.

That evening Sherwood cuts a relaxed figure as Villa draw 0-0 with Braga in their second and last Portugal friendly. But he declines to speak publicly as he deals with the dramatic turn of events. 

Twitter went mad when photos emerged of Delph arriving for a medical at Wilmslow Hospital 

Twitter went mad when photos emerged of Delph arriving for a medical at Wilmslow Hospital 

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