Since their Sheikh Mansour-led takeover in 2008, Manchester City haven’t been shy in splashing the cash.
From the £38.7million signing of Robinho just days after the club was under new ownership, the Citizens have seen over £1.5billion invested in players.
Pep Guardiola ‘s acquisitions make up a large portion of that, with Etihad Stadium welcoming 35 new arrivals for £918million since the ex-Barcelona boss took over in 2016.
The eye-watering figure follows Jack Grealish ‘s £105.75m move from Aston Villa on Thursday.
That’s despite the implications of the global pandemic and Guardiola’s statement that his club “cannot afford” a replacement for Sergio Aguero this summer.
Evidently, however, the purse strings are not so tight in east Manchester.
Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)
Here, Mirror Football goes through Guardiola’s 10 most expensive Man City signings.
All figures used are according to transfermarkt.com.
10. Leroy Sane £46.8m
Edging out Bernardo Silva by just £1.8million, Sane’s arrival came in the same summer as his former manager’s.
Starring on the left wing for three seasons in which he 42 goals in 145 games, the 25-year-old returned to his homeland of Germany in 2020 after an injury hit 19-20 season.
With one year remaining on his contract at the time, the winger cost Bayern Munich £40.5m, a record sale for City.
Although he had somewhat of a quiet first campaign back in the Bundesliga, Sane’s undeniable talent could see him go on to make Guardiola and co rue their decision to sell.
9. Kyle Walker £47.43m
After finishing third, 15 points of the top in 16-17, City’s defence had much to improve on.
Right-back Pablo Zabaleta was ageing, so the Sky Blues approached Tottenham Hotspur for their flying defender and begin a spending spree on full-back – more on that soon.
Walker has been a constant presence in Guardiola’s rearguard since his move, trusted for his experience on the big occasions.
Although he’s had competition in the form of another big-money signings, the 31-year-old’s medal collection includes three Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, four League Cups and two Community Shields, which alone show that he’s been a success.
8. John Stones £50.04m
An English ball-playing centre-back had Guardiola written all over it when he arrived in Manchester.
In spite of looking good alongside Vincent Kompany, his first four seasons saw him often struggle with lapses in concentration and when the Belgian wasn’t by his side, didn’t appear comfortable next to Nicolas Otamendi.
After reports of his potential departure emerged last summer, a new centre-back partner gave the 27-year-old a fresh lease of life to look better than ever.
Netting four goals in 22 top-flight matches last season to help him win his and Guardiola’s third English title, Stones’ performances have made his price tag look much more sensible.
Pool via REUTERS)
7. Benjamin Mendy £51.75m
Arguably the only ‘flop’ on this list, Mendy’s arrival alongside Bernardo from Monaco in 2017 initially seemed a certified good bit of business.
Started the centurion term of 17-18 strongly, a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament ended his season devastating prematurely.
Since then, the Frenchman’s erratic showings and further injuries have seen converted midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko take the left-back slot.
With his contract still having two years left, Mendy still has time to turn his City career around and can emulate Stones to silence his critics as long as he stays fit and focussed.
6. Rodri £56.43m
Signed as Fernandinho’s long-term heir, Rodri’s first seasons for the Citizens didn’t exactly go to plan.
Losing the Premier League title to Liverpool and being dumped out of the Champions League by Lyon at the quarter-final stage, his value to the team was questioned, with the senior Brazilian still being heavily relied on.
Action Images via Reuters)
After another year in the north west, though, the former Atletico Madrid man is a staple of Guardiola’s less-rotated starting XI.
Able to dictate play in the middle third and unleash a rocket of a shot, the 25-year-old’s career in Manchester looks to have only just gotten started.
=5. Aymeric Laporte £58.5m
The only January signing on this list, left-footed Spain international Laporte may not be a City player for much longer after joining in 2018.
That’s because he reportedly wants out following much-diminished game time last season.
Missing 36 games though injury in 19-20, his absence saw Guardiola struggle to replace Kompany in the heart of defence and led to the Spanish manager adding two centre-backs to help fill the void.
Although his winner in this year’s Carabao Cup final will go down as his most memorable moment, many expected the French-born defender to be a staple of the back line for years to come.
=5. Joao Cancelo £58.5m
Signed from Juventus in the summer of 2019 with Danilo heading in the other direction, Cancelo’s time in sky blue has somewhat mirrored Rodri’s, coming into his own in year two.
Now one of Europe’s most productive full-backs, his ability to play on either flank and in midfield make him an ideal Pep player.
Although he spent the Champions League final on the bench, he made more than twice as many top-flight starts in 20-21 than in 19-20 as he proved why the club forked out such a hefty fee.
At 27, the Portugal international is in his prime years and it’s a joy to watch.
3. Riyad Mahrez £61.02m
Having helped Leicester to the most unlikely Premier League title win of all-time, Mahrez finally left the King Power in the summer of 2018 after another City had become the first side to record 100 points in a single campaign.
The electric Algerian has scored some vital goals during his time at the Etihad, including three of his teams’ four strikes in the Champions League semi-final win over Paris Saint-Germain last season.
Making the right-wing position his own of late, Mahrez is likely to remain a key player for Guardiola in the immediate future.
2. Ruben Dias £61.2m
Formerly Guardiola’s most expensive signing, Dias is the man who transformed City last time out.
The 24-year-old’s leadership and assured performances saw him pick up the Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year award for his monumental impact, mirroring that of Virgil van Dijk’s at Liverpool.
Brought in from Benfica after 20-21 campaign had started in which the Citizens had already shipped six goals in two top-flight games.
Dias made himself undroppable once Guardiola threw him in during October, birthing a formidable centre-back partnership with Stones which saw the Sky Blues concede just 32 strikes in league play.
1. Jack Grealish £105.75m
Recently made the most expensive English player of all-time, Grealish usurped Kevin De Bruyne by almost £40m to become City’s record signing.
It was revealed following his departure that, thanks to a clause in his deal at Villa Park, if a Champions League club were willing to pay £100m and Grealish wanted to leave, Villa wouldn’t stand in his way.
Will Grealish help Man City finally win the Champions League this season? Comment your thoughts below.
He and De Bruyne stood alone in the Premier League creativity charts last time out, a face that will surely make their titles rivals fearful ahead of the new campaign.
Expected to play next to the spellbinding Belgian as a No. 8, Grealish has left his boyhood club behind to link up with who he believes is the best manager in the world.
The 25-year-old might not hold either record for long, though, as England captain Harry Kane could turn from the white of Tottenham Hotspur to the sky blue of City for £160million this summer.
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