Philippe Sandler’s move from PEC Zwolle to Manchester City is a done deal despite the lack of any announcement, with the player and his coach speaking openly about it in the Netherlands.
The Dutch youth international is joining City for a reported fee of €3million (£2.6million), which will be the Eredivisie club’s all-time record fee for a sale.
Sandler is a highly-rated young centre-back and it is expected he will be loaned back to the Netherlands with one of the top sides, possibly PSV Eindhoven who City beat to his signature.
In an interview with VI, the player has responded to criticism of him deciding to move to City.
“I understand the reaction,” Sandler said. “A PEC player doesn’t usually transfer to a top English club. Yet it is true.
“There are experts who think I am going to enjoy it and there are people who think I can’t handle it. It’s up to me now.
“What else should I have done? Let this chance go away?”
The 20-year-old may have also been revealed, or been given the indication from City chiefs, that Pep Guardiola will be around for a long time yet by speaking of how the Catalan coach wants to focus more on youngsters in the coming years.
“Pep Guardiola wants to work with young talent in the coming years. He wants to buy less polished players to train them himself.
“I can work with the best trainer in the world. That is a boy’s dream.
“My management and I spoke extensively with people from City, including Txiki Begiristain.”
Sandler was impressed about the research City had done about him – the Blues are known to have their talent-spotters produce long dossiers about potential targets.
“They really knew everything about me! They were impressed by my distribution between the lines and my speed. They saw that I got better and better in challenges, but I also mentioned that I had problems with space in the back.
“The video analysts had watched almost all of my matches. That gave a good feeling.
“I’m not just a number, they really have a plan with me. Guardiola too.
“When I was in hospital for my medical examination, my father spoke to him. He knew exactly who I was.”
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