Manchester City’s takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 has paved the way for incredible success for the football club.
The shock signing of Robinho on transfer deadline day that year would tease the financial might of Sheikh Mansour, and plenty of huge deals would follow down the years.
Fans of rival clubs have had their pitchforks out ever since City received their financial injection, but it is undeniable that many of the most expensive deals have worked out superbly well and have proven to be great value.
City have never come close to shelling out £100 million for a player, with a lot of the club’s most expensive players coming in around the £50-60 million mark.
Here are the most expensive transfers in Manchester City’s history so far:
Values taken from Transfermarket.com
- Kevin De Bruyne – £68.4m from Wolfsburg
- Ruben Dias – £61.2m from Benfica
- Riyad Mahrez – £61m from Leicester City
- Joao Cancelo – £58.5m from Juventus
- Aymeric Laporte – £58.5m from Athletic Bilbao
- Raheem Sterling – £57.3m from Liverpool
- Rodri – £56.4m from Atletico Madrid
- Benjamin Mendy – £51.8m from AS Monaco
- John Stones – £50.m from Everton
- Kyle Walker – £47.4m from Tottenham Hotspur
- Leroy Sane – £46.9m from Schalke 04
- Bernardo Silva – £45m from AS Monaco
- Nathan Ake – £40.8m from Bournemouth
- Eliaquim Mangala – £40.5m from FC Porto
- Nicolas Otamendi – £40m from Valencia
- Robinho – £38.8m from Real Madrid
- Sergio Aguero – £36m from Atletico Madrid
- Fernandinho – £36m from Shakhtar Donetsk
- Ederson – £36m from Benfica
- Edin Dzeko – £33.3m from VFL Wolfsburg
Of the 20 most expensive players in Manchester City’s history, 15 are currently still playing their football at the Etihad Stadium.
Transfermarket claim Kevin De Bruyne’s transfer from Wolfsburg back in 2015 is the most expensive in the club’s history, although some UK newspapers (e.g. the Independent) reported Ruben Dias’ move to the club last year as being the biggest.
That both cost City in and around the £60 million mark is absolutely amazing given their status as not just world-class players, but potentially the very best in their positions in world football.
De Bruyne has been utterly instrumental in City’s dominance over the past few years, and Dias has had an incredible first season and could lead the club’s defence for many years to come and ultimately make his transfer fee look like peanuts.
Looking at the 20-strong list, there are very few that have turned out to be poor value.
Nathan Ake’s £40 million fee looks a little steep right now, but he hasn’t had too many opportunities to shine yet and he is still many years away from his peak.
Eliaquim Mangala is perhaps the worst deal of this top 20.
He wowed on his debut against Chelsea, but ended up struggling a fair bit at the club before leaving for nothing in 2019.
Benjamin Mendy arguably has work to do to justify his move from Monaco that set the club back approximately £50 million.
The list, though, is littered with deals that have just been tremendous business – the likes of Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho turning out to be complete and utter steals after feeling expensive at the time.
Given the commitment of ADUG to ensuring City stay competitive for years to come, it’s likely this list will see a lot of change in the transfer windows to come.
Given the club’s transfer record over the last decade or so, one can bet that most new players that come into the club will prove to be solid value.