Manchester City are known for spending big on players since the takeover of the club by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008.

Millions have been splashed and many top stars have since graced the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester city owner Sheikh Mansour bin
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But not only do the club spend big and spend wisely, they also do quite well to ensure they are adequately compensated when it comes to losing players.

The transfer fees paid to sign players are obviously much bigger than the sales made, but there have definitely been some impressive deals done by City recruitment officials down the years.

Fees taken from

  1. Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich – £40.5 million
  2. Danilo to Juventus – £33.3 million
  3. Shaun Wright-Phillips to Chelsea – £28.4 million
  4. Alvaro Negredo to Valencia – £25.2 million
  5. Kelechi Iheanacho to Leicester City – £24.9 million
  6. Robinho to AC Milan – £18.9 million
  7. Mario Balotelli to AC Milan – £18 million
  8. Angelino to RB Leipzig – £16.2 milllion
  9. Brahim Diaz to Real Madrid – £15.3 million
  10. Javi Garcia to Zenit St Petersburg – £15.1 million

City’s biggest ever sale is the deal that took Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich last year.

The German winger had long been linked with a move to the Bavarian giants, and he might have made the move sooner had it not been for a serious knee injury he suffered in the 2019 Community Shield.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga
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It had become clear that Sane had wanted to back to his homeland after struggling to earn regular starter status under Pep Guardiola.

With his contract running down, City sold last year for a fee in the region of £40 million – much less than his true value, but not a bad take considering the situation with his contract.

Just one other player has moved away from City for over £30 million, and that was Danilo who joined Juventus in the summer of 2019.

International Champions Cup 2017 - Manchester City v Real Madrid
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The Brazilian moved to Turin, with Joao Cancelo coming to the Etihad Stadium in a seperate deal.

Given how expensive Cancelo was, it was important for City to offset it by selling Danilo.

Interestingly, Shaun Wright-Phillips is still right up there as one of the club’s biggest sales.

His move to Chelsea a few years before the takeover raised eyebrows, and disappointed many fans having been a favourite at the club.

Aris Saloniki v Manchester City - UEFA Europa League
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He would move back to the club for a second stint in 2008 after struggling at Stamford Bridge.

Most of these deals are seen as good business by City.

The one man that may now be making his City exit fee look rather small is Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Nigerian striker left in 2017 to join Leicester for just shy of £25 million.

For a while that looked like brilliant compensation for a player that had come through the academy.

Chelsea v Leicester City: The Emirates FA Cup Final
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But Iheanacho now looks the real deal having scored 19 goals in 2020/21, and has the potential to improve further for the next four or five years yet.

In terms of there being any changes to this list in the near future, perhaps someone like a Raheem Sterling or a Gabriel Jesus could go for big money.

That said, the club tend to hold on to players for longer these days and squeeze everything they can out of them before moving them on once they’ve gone past their prime.

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