Man City sell young centre-back to Southampton for £20m

  • Taylor Harwood-Bellis leaves Man City for Southampton
  • Centre-back spent last season on loan at St Mary's
  • Promotion triggered obligation for Southampton to make deal permanent
Harwood-Bellis returns to Southampton
Harwood-Bellis returns to Southampton / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Manchester City have confirmed the departure of centre-back Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who has joined Southampton on a permanent deal.

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan with the Saints in a deal which included an obligation to make the move permanent if they sealed promotion back to the Premier League.

Having beaten Leeds United 1-0 in the Championship play-off final, Southampton have now triggered their purchase clause and have wrapped up Harwood-Bellis' signature for a fee of £20m.

"It's no secret how much I enjoyed being here last season, so I'm delighted to officially become a Southampton player ahead of the new season," said Harwood-Bellis. "The feeling of bringing this club back to the Premier League and playing in front of these fans week-in and week-out has been amazing.

"I've learnt a great deal over the past two years and developed so much as a player and as a person. To have the opportunity now to represent this club in the Premier League is really special and I can't wait to get going and to see all the lads again."

Taylor Harwood-Bellis
Harwood-Bellis helped Southampton to promotion / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Southampton have been particularly prolific when it comes to snapping up young talents from City in recent years.

In 2022, Southampton hired former City scout Joe Shields as their recruitment guru and quickly followed that appointment up with deals for Gavin Bazunu, Romeo Lavia, Samuel Edozie and Juan Larios for close to £40m combined.

12 months later, Southampton recruited Jason Wilcox from City as their director of football and he continued their Etihad shopping spree with a £10.5m move for midfielder Shea Charles and a deal to sign goalkeeper Josh McNamara on a free transfer, as well as the loan move for Harwood-Bellis.

Both Shields and Wilcox have moved on from Southampton, joining Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, but not before overseeing a transfer spend of over £70m on City's youngsters.

Of the players to have made the move, only Lavia has left the club, following Shields to Chelsea in a deal worth £58m.