Jack Rodwell made his Everton debut in 2007 and has played twice for England.
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Jack Rodwell made his Everton debut in 2007 and has played twice for England.

Story highlights

Rodwell becomes City's first big signing of the summer after completing $19m deal

The 21-year-old could end up costing City $26m depending on various clauses

Boss Roberto Mancini could start Rodwell in Premier League opener against Southampton

England midfielder hoping to win his third international cap against Italy on Wednesday

CNN —  

Roberto Mancini has finally secured Manchester City’s first signing of the offseason just days before his side’s English Premier League title defense gets underway after completing a $19 million move for Everton’s Jack Rodwell.

The Italian has been growing frustrated with City’s inability to land his top transfer targets after reportedly becoming angry at the lack of progress being made by sporting director Brian Marwood.

After leading City to their first league title since 1968, Mancini is keen to bolster his squad with the prize of the European Champions League now a top priority.

City spent close to $785m in transfers over the past four years but has been virtually inactive during recent months while their rivals continue to buy.

European champions Chelsea has spent $50m on Belgium midfielder Eden Hazard as well as $39m on Brazil midfielder Oscar.

Arsenal has also been recruiting new talent with Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla all joining since the end of last season, while Manchester United paid $26.6m for Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa.

Mancini has been forced to watch on as City has failed to finalize deals for the likes of Arsenal’s Robin van Persie, Roma’s Daniele De Rossi, Liverpool’s Daniel Agger and Swansea’s Scott Sinclair.

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City are keen for Mancini to trim the club’s wage bill with both Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium.

But the Italian has finally managed to complete one piece of business with the acquisition of England midfielder Rodwell on a five-year deal.

The 21-year-old, who could eventually cost City $26m, is in contention to make his debut against newly-promoted Southampton on Sunday.

“Man City are a massive club, the league champions, so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s a dream come true,” Rodwell told told the club’s official website.

“It will be an amazing experience to make my debut in front of them if I am selected to play next weekend.

“Obviously I knew the squad is immense with talent here but I believe in my ability. I’ve just got to work my way into the manager’s plans and hopefully things will go well.

“The hard work starts today as I start to help contribute to the club winning more silverware. The season has started really well with the Community Shield win.”

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Rodwell graduated through the Everton youth system after joining the Merseyside club as a seven-year-old.

He has already made two appearances for England and could win his third cap in Wednesday’s international friendly match against World Cup finalists Italy in Berne – a repeat of the recent Euro 2012 quarterfinal.

Rodwell is the second big-name player to leave Goodison Park for City in the last three years following the departure of Joleon Lescott in a $34.5million deal back in 2009.

“It’s been kept under wraps quite nicely,” said Rodwell of the transfer. “It’s been going on for the past couple of weeks but the last couple of days it’s progressed really quickly. I’m just pleased it’s done.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to everyone at Everton. The manager David Moyes has been brilliant for me and helped make me the player that I am today.”

“I have a special relationship with the chairman, Bill Kenwright, who did not want me to leave.”

Meanwhile, Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will miss England’s friendly against Italy on Wednesday with a back injury.

Hart, who impressed during the recent European Championship Finals, is expected to be replaced by Team GB goalkeeper Jack Butland.

Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge have also withdrawn from the squad through injury.