Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says Fabian Delph needed a new challenge and is delighted the England international has finally swapped claret and blue for sky blue saying it would've been a "bad" decision for him to stay in the Midlands.
Delph will jet into Melbourne on Tuesday and could debut against Ronaldo’s Real Madrid at the MCG next Friday after penning an 8 million pound deal.
It's another bitter blow for Villa who appear set to lose Christian Benteke to Liverpool, according to reports.
Pellegrini revealed his pleasant surprise at the Delph move after the player apparently opted to stay with Tim Sherwood's side, only to make a late U-turn and finalise his deal with City.
“Maybe it was a special moment for him,” Pellegrini said of the backflip.
“He decide [and] I think, it was a bad decision [to stay with Villa]. Players need a new challenge and this was a new challenge for him.
“But it’s important for him that he finally decide to come because I think he’s going to grow a lot.
“Yes it was a surprise that he decided not to come because we knew before that he has all arranged to sign the contract.
“But I repeat he had some reason that we must understand but the important thing is finally he decide to come.
“[I’m] very pleased because I think that he’s an important player not only because he’s an English player from the England squad but he’s a player that is dynamic. He’s arriving on Tuesday [in Melbourne].”
There the EPL club will face Roma on Tuesday and Real Madrid three days later in the International Champions Cup. It means Delph could be in line to debut at the MCG in the blockbuster clash with the La Liga giants
Pellegrini added that at this stage of pre-season all he needs is a physical challenge for the players, and he said he got that from Melbourne City after the EPL side spurned numerous chances to score.
“Australia is growing a lot in football,” Pellegrini said.
“Though the score is less important in pre-season. The most important thing is a good game with high pace.”
The A-League club showed plenty of quality but went down to an 85th minute goal to Samir Nasri.
“He didn’t have a good season last season but I’m sure this [season] we will see again the Samir Nasri that we saw two seasons ago,” Pellegrini added when quizzed on the former Arsenal man.