Every player Man City have bought since Sheikh Mansour took over

Guardiola comments on Man City's alleged breach of financial rules

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It has been nearly 15 years since Manchester City were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group, headed by the deputy prime minister of Dubai and billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. And since then, the English champions have emerged as one of the most successful teams in history after dominating domestic football, although their run at the top could be brought to an abrupt end amid the charges pitted against the club by the Premier League.

Under Pep Guardiola, City have won the Premier League title in four of the last five seasons and broken the record for most points in a single season – 100 – as well as the most consecutive victories. The Catalan has brought an eye-catching style of football to the Etihad Stadium and success alongside it, having been appointed in June 2016. 

Under Guardiola, City have reached the status Mansour had always dreamed of for the club when he acquired the club in 2008 for £265m from Thaksin Shinawatra, although the Champions League remains the elusive prize they are yet to claim as their own. Having spent nearly £2billion in transfers alone since his takeover, Mansour has seen City rise to the top under his ownership with some smart recruitment choices – Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Aguero are just a few of many star-studded arrivals.

But not all of them have worked out as they have hoped. Express Sport looks at every player to have been signed by the club since Mansour’s takeover in 2008.


Robinho (£32.5m): A marquee signing from Real Madrid that failed to deliver after initial promise.

Roque Santa Cruz (£17m): A disastrous signing that demonstrated how money could be wasted on the wrong players as injuries blighted the Paraguayan.

Nigel De Jong (£16m): A classy operator on the ball in the City midfield and played his part in the first title win.

Craig Bellamy (£14m): Not the most glamorous signing but one that fans endeared to with energetic displays and crucial goals.

Gareth Barry (£12m): His immense contribution to City’s improvement in the early years should not be understated. A bargain.

Wayne Bridge (£12m): The most interesting thing he did for the club was snub John Terry. Failed to create a legacy at the Etihad.

Shay Given (£8m): A goalkeeper with tons of Premier League experience, but Joe Hart assumed the role of No 1 under Mark Hughes.

Bacary Sagna (free): A useful member of the squad for the club after signing from Arsenal.


Carlos Tevez (£25.5m): The Argentinian’s move across Manchester stole the headlines, as did his refusal to come off the bench. Too fiery to stay too long.

Emmanuel Adebayor (£25m): A fine start to his City career, but soon lost his way.

Joleon Lescott (£22m): After failing to sign John Terry, Lescott was the right fit for Hughes’s side at the time.

Scott Sinclair (£8m): Many would forget he even signed for the club at one point and fared better at Swansea City and Celtic.

Gael Clichy (£7m): A bargain signing due to his contract, he added experience to the backline.


David Silva (£26m): The first big-name arrival under Mansour, Silva is etched into the club’s history after a glorious trophy-laden decade at the club.

James Milner (£26m): A tireless worker and versatile, Milner gave City some different options in midfield before leaving for Liverpool.

Yaya Toure (£24m): One of the best players Africa has ever produced, this midfield general delivered so many critical moments for the club in their meteoric rise.

Mario Balotelli (£24.5m): Enormous potential that never was fulfilled due to his antics, the Italian won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Samir Nasri (£22m): Another expensive mistake as he rarely lived up to the heights he produced at Arsenal, despite one solid season.


Sergio Aguero (£38m): If his tally of 260 goals in 390 games doesn’t tell you he is one of the best to pull on the club’s shirt, what will?

Edin Dzeko (£27m): A towering striker that perhaps deserved a bigger part to play, but his two title medals highlight his success.

Aleksandar Kolarov (£17m): Blessed with an incredible left foot, but his defensive frailties were easily exposed.

Kolo Toure (£16m): Not quite as impactful as his brother Yaya, but Toure was an experienced head at the back.

Jack Rodwell (£15m): The midfielder barely featured after being struck by a spate of injuries.


Stevan Jovetic (£26m): A smart signing that never truly settled at the club and quickly returned to Italy.

Jerome Boateng (£11m): Why was he allowed to leave so easily? Bayern Munich lapped up his best years.

Stefan Savic (£6m): Flogged too early considering his form at Fiorentina and Atletico Madrid.

Willy Caballero (£6m): Some wobbly league outings aside, the Argentinian’s EFL Cup heroics live long in the memory.

Martin Demichelis (£3.5m): Not the sturdiest of defenders, but one that contributed to their title success in 2013-14.


Fernandinho (£30m): An outstanding figure who was central to City’s dominance in the Premier League.

Wilfried Bony (£27m): His form at Swansea proved to be a misrepresentation of his talents as a Premier League striker. Loaned back to Swansea.

Alvaro Negredo (£20m): Faded badly after a bright start alongside Aguero in the frontline.

Javi Garcia (£16m): Not quite good enough to command a starting spot, but he often did.

Jesus Navas (£15m): A useful winger who clearly struggled with life away from Seville and headed back after three seasons.


Eliaquim Mangala (£42m): What were the club thinking?

Fernando (£12m): A low-cost addition but rarely impressed for City.

Maicon (£3m): Past his best and the very reason why Guardiola signed Walker.

Costel Pantilimon (£3m): A huge shot-stopper that was never more than a backup.


Kevin De Bruyne (£55m): A stunning player who has been the beating heart for City for quite some time. The epitome of ‘Pep-ball’.

Raheem Sterling (£50m): Goals, sublime with the ball and a dangerous dribbler – City haven’t looked the same since he was sold to Chelsea last summer.

Nicolas Otamendi (£31m): At best, reliable and at his worst, a calamity. City’s defence improved when Dias came in.

Gabriel Jesus (£27m): A bargain signing in truth, although he left City without ever fulfilling his potential as a No 9.

Fabian Delph (£8m): Low risk at such a small fee, but injuries eventually got the better of the ex-England international.


John Stones (£47m): His time at the club has been a rollercoaster but has played a key role for Guardiola in the past two seasons.

Leroy Sane (£40m): A breathtaking player to watch, the German headed to Bayern Munich not long after a serious knee injury.

Ilkay Gundogan (£20m): Top scorer in the 2020-21 season with 13 league goals to underline his brilliant contribution from midfield.

Claudio Bravo (£17m): Some horror displays and far from his Barcelona best, Ederson was the right choice to replace him.

Nolito (£13.8m): A Pedro-esque signing for Guardiola that soon faded after struggling with the physicality of the league. Headed back to Spain after one year.

Marlos Moreno (£5m): Never played for the club but still belongs to the City satellite list of players.

Geronimo Rulli (£4m): Baffling why he was never brought in as the Argentinian has experienced success elsewhere.

Oleks Zinchenko (£2m): One of the bargains of the Mansour era. Sold to Arsenal for £35m with three titles in his pocket.


Aymeric Laporte (£60m): Serious knee problems have plagued the Spain international, but overall a solid addition to the squad.

Benjamin Mendy (£50m): Knee injuries and off-the-field matters turned his move into a nightmare. Guardiola swiftly moved on with Zinchenko and Cancelo.

Kyle Walker (£47m): He had everything to help City reach the level, with pace, power and incredible energy. Well worth the investment.

Bernardo Silva (£43m): A player who embodies Guardiola’s style all over the pitch, his grunt work – in addition to creative genius – often goes underappreciated. 

Ederson (£35m): A talented distributor and decent shot-stopper, the goalkeeper helped City stop leaking goals and has won four titles in five seasons.

Danilo (£30m): Quickly found himself used as a backup and was flogged to Juventus.

Douglas Luiz (£10m): A mistake to let him go for such a small fee after selling to Aston Villa for £15m, now a Brazil international.

Jack Harrison (£3m): Never got a chance to prove himself and is now a competent winger with Leeds United.


Riyad Mahrez (£60m): Has made his mark in key moments and scored 24 goals in 2021-22 campaign, but his exploits go under the radar due to De Bruyne’s excellence.

Ante Palaversa (£8m): Never featured for the club and sent out on loan.

Philipp Sandler (£2m): Still yet to feature for the club.

Ryo Itakura (£1m): Signed very much for City’s satellite clubs.

Daniel Arzani (£750k): Another player stockpiled to be sent out on loan.


Rodri (£63m): Arguably the world’s best defensive midfielder, the investment has gradually paid off after a slow start.

Joao Cancelo (£52m): Considered one of the league’s top full-backs until his fallout with Guardiola, now on loan at Bayern Munich.

Angelino (£10.8m): Featured interimittently as a wing-back before heading to RB Leipzig on a permanent deal.

Pedro Porro (£10m): Never played for the club, but earned City a sizeable sell-on fee after joining Tottenham for £40m.

Zack Steffen (£7m): Currently on loan at Middlesbrough and struggled to dislodge Ederson.


Ruben Dias (£61m) – An immediate upgrade on Otamendi and played an important part in two title wins.

Nathan Ake (£40m) – Initially signed as a backup, the Dutchman has been a regular part of Guardiola’s team.

Ferran Torres (£25m) – Arrived from Valencia in a bargain deal and bagged 16 goals in 43 appearances before a blockbuster £55m switch to Barcelona.

Nahuel Bustos (£5m) – Has been on loan four times and still belongs to City.

Yan Couto (£5m) – The 20-year-old has been farmed out to Girona as he looks to fulfil his potential.

Diego Rosa (£4.5m) – Released after two years at the club.

Issa Kabore (£4m) – Sent out on loan to Ligue 1 outfit Marseille.


Jack Grealish (£100m) – Disappointing in his first season at the club, Grealish is beginning to show glimpses of his incredible ability as a winger.

Sergio Gomez (£11m) – A relatively small fee for a player with big promise and an adequate backup at left-back.

Scott Carson (free) – His presence in the dressing room is appreciated at the club.


Erling Haaland (£51m) – With expectations so high, to score 26 goals in your first 23 Premier League games is simply outstanding.

Kalvin Phillips (£45m) – A colossal waste of money, given how little City have used the England international.

Julian Alvarez (£18m) – Signed in January 2022 before moving to the club in the summer, Alvarez is one of the biggest talents in Europe. Could be a monumental player for the club.

Manuel Akanji (£15m) – Several Premier League clubs turned him down, but City will be grateful they didn’t after an impressive debut season in England.

Maximo Perrone (£8m) – A lot of hype in Argentina about this 20-year-old from Velez Sarsfield, who could make his debut in the coming weeks.

Stefan Ortega (Free) –  Has proved to be a competent deputy for Ederson in his seven appearances.

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