Manchester City have completed the signing of Laia Aleixandri on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid following the conclusion of her contract.
Aleixandri has signed a three-year deal, keeping her at the Academy Stadium until 2025, and she will officially join the club on 1 July, subject to international clearance.
The move sees City snap up their second free transfer from Atletico this summer after the recent arrival of forward Deyna Castellanos.
“Manchester City is a very big club with top players and staff, and I believe this is the best move for me to make,” said Aleixandri. “This is a team who likes to play with the ball and with an offensive style, and that suits me personally.
“My dream here is to win a lot of titles and to improve as a player with the help of my new teammates.”
Aleixandri is a product of the Barcelona academy, but moved to Atletico in 2017 before she could make a senior appearance for the Catalan club.
The defender made her international debut for Spain in 2019, and has gone on to earn eight caps for the national side. She was recently named in Spain’s provisional 28-player squad for Euro 2022.
Aleixandri does not turn 22 until August, which is in keeping with City’s recent transfer policy following the January arrival of 20-year-old Julie Blakstad, the previous summer’s addition of teenager Ruby Mace and the recent recruitment of 23-year-old Deyna Castellanos. The club also tied youngsters Esme Morgan, Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly down to new, long-term deals during the 2021/22 campaign.
City are continuing their rebuild ahead of the 2022/23 WSL season after six players departed this summer. Aleixandri is the club’s third addition – and third arrival from the Primera Division – following the signings of Castellanos from Atletico and Leila Ouahabi from Barcelona.
“Having such a talented young player as Laia join our team is a real coup for us as a club,” added Gareth Taylor.
“Even though she is only 21, she has an incredible amount of experience under her belt for both club and country so far and it is so exciting to think about what is to come from her in the future.”