Manchester City and Southampton have today announced the completion of a permanent transfer for Shea Charles from the Etihad Stadium to St Mary’s.
The 19 year-old has become the latest Manchester City academy star to move to the south coast, with the Northern Ireland international following in the footsteps of Romeo Lavia, Gavin Bazunu, Sam Edozie and Juan Larios.
Charles, who made his first-team Manchester City debut against Brentford on the final day of the Premier League campaign back in May, featured in 36 matches for the club’s Elite Development Squad, who were crowned Premier League 2 winners for a third successive season.
The teenager made 26 PL2 appearances in total, and a further seven UEFA Youth League appearances across the course of the 2022/23 season.
The highly-rated midfielder, who can also play in a back-four, has been with Manchester City since under-9s level, and signed his first professional contract at the Etihad Stadium back in 2021.
Shea Charles also has eight senior caps for Northern Ireland, having featured in four UEFA 2024 qualifiers for the nation to date.
What are the terms of the Shea Charles to Southampton deal?
Shea Charles has completed a move to the south coast in a deal that could rise to as much as £15 million, with Southampton paying an initial fee of £10.5 million.
What clauses have Manchester City included in the deal with Southampton?
Manchester City have included various clauses in the deal for Shea Charles, including matching bid rights, a sell-on percentage of the player’s next future fee, and perhaps more significantly, a buy-back clause.
What has Shea Charles said upon leaving City and joining Southampton?
In a heartfelt message penned on Charles’ official Instagram channel, the former Manchester City midfielder wrote, “My time at Manchester City has come to an end after 12 years. I will always be grateful to the staff and players who have helped me get to where I am today. Thank you.”
Upon joining Southampton, Charles stated, “I feel the way the manager’s going to play will really suit me, and obviously some of the players I know (from City) have done very well here last season in the Premier League, so there’s no reason why I can’t do similar things.
“He (Russell Martin) called me, explaining it will be good for me with the possession-based football he looks to play. I can’t wait. I feel the main thing is promotion, because we belong in the Premier League. I can’t wait to start pre-season and get into the Championship games.”
Who else was interested in Shea Charles this summer?
A number of clubs had shown interest in the former Manchester City midfielder over the past few months in particular.
It was claimed that earlier on in the season, Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund were preparing a bid for the Northern Ireland international, whilst RB Leipzig had also been previously labelled as ‘keen’ on the player.
Closer to home, and the likes of Everton, Rangers, Celtic, Leeds United, Brentford, and Newcastle have all been linked with levels of interest in the versatile teenage midfield talent.
How have Southampton reacted to their new signing?
Southampton manager Russell Martin said upon signing the Manchester City talent, “Shea is a very talented, intelligent and mature young player with great potential to develop his game with us.
“He has been well schooled at Manchester City, coming through an elite Academy all the way to the first team. We’ve watched him closely and we’re confident he’s got the right attributes to help us in the way we’re going to play.”
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