OFFICIAL! Manchester City sign England defender after getting Rodri

Five days after the club record signing of Spanish midfielder, Rodri, from Atletico Madrid, Manchester City have seen their women’s counterpart complete the signing of England defender, Aoife Mannion, on a two-year deal.

Unlike Rodri who cost City £63 million, the 23-year-old Mannion arrives the Etihad Stadium on a free transfer at the end of her contract with Women’s Super League (WSL) rivals, Birmingham City.

Mannion joins Nick Cushing’s City after six years at Damson Park where she arrived in 2013 and helped Birmingham reach the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final in her first season as well as the Women’s FA Cup final three years later.

TWO BLUE: The 23-year-old has signed a two-year deal

“The defender joins the Club on a two-year deal from Birmingham City and will wear the number two shirt,” Manchester City stated. “The 23-year-old England Under-23 international is one of the most highly regarded young defenders in the domestic game and was voted into the 2019 PFA WSL team of the year.”

EUROPEAN DREAM: At the age of 18, she played in the first leg of the 2013/14 Women's Champions League against PK-35 Vantaa

Mannion, a first class graduate from Birmingham University, expressed her delight at joining the club who lost out narrowly to Arsenal in the race for the 2018/19 WSL title, and stated she is looking forward to continuing her development as well as help the club win trophies.

HERITAGE: Mannion believes her background within Gaelic football prepared her physically and mentally for top flight women’s football

“I’m so happy to be here, so happy to have signed and I can’t wait to get started,” Aoife told CityTV. “The appeal of the club speaks for itself with the league titles and trophies the Club has won. The accolades are there and I just want to try and play a part in ensuring that continues to happen.”

HOME OF THE CHAMPIONS: Will Aoife make her debut in the opening day Manchester Derby at the Etihad?

She added: “When I spoke with Nick (Cushing) about making the move, we just seemed to be on the same wavelength and wanted the same things. We want to keep being successful and have a real pop at Europe which is the one trophy to have eluded us so far.”

LOOKING AHEAD: Excited for a new challenge

Mannion’s arrival at City comes just as two England stars, Steph Houghton and Demi Stokes, will be returning to the club from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where the Three Lionesses made it to the semi-final and the 23-year-old full-back is looking forward to working with them and other players at City.

AUTOGRAPH: Win Aoife's signed shirt with Cityzens!

“Hopefully I can also bring some of my personality out on the pitch but there’s a lot that I’ve still got to learn,” Mannion said. “When I come in for pre-season I know it’s going to be a massive learning curve but that’s the part of joining that I’m most excited about.”

TOP TWO: Mannion will wear the number two shirt

She was also excited about getting the chance to play in the Champions League again. “I’m so excited about playing in the Champions League,” Mannion added. “I’ve only played in it once for Birmingham and that was six years ago and it wasn’t until the experience had gone by that you really appreciated it.”

DO THE MATH: The defender has a First Class Honours Degree in Economics

Commenting on Mannion’s signing, City manager Nick Cushing said: “I’m really excited about Aoife joining the team and I think she’s going to give us something we haven’t had over the past season.”

PEN TO PAPER: The defender commits her immediate future to the Club

Will Mannion’s arrival help City upstage Arsenal in the WSL title race for the coming season? Share your views with us in the comment section.