Pep Guardiola’s worst signings ever as Man City boss amasses £1.6bn

Man City boss Pep Guardiola reacts to Aston Villa victory

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Pep Guardiola’s relentless success as a coach stems from his recruitment. He’s helmed some of the best players in history, but the Manchester City boss has already had his fair share of flops. Express Sport takes a look at five Guardiola signings remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Martin Caceres (2008, £15m)

In 2008, £15million was a lot of money and an indication that a player worth that much would be key to a manager’s plans.

But Martin Caceres lasted just one season at Barcelona after Guardiola recruited him from Villarreal.

The Uruguayan centre-back was fourth-choice at the Nou Camp, making just 13 appearances before being offloaded.

He spent the vast majority of his career in Italy, including at Juventus, with a brief spell at… Southampton, of all places, in between.

Claudio Bravo (2016, £15m)

Guardiola’s vision at the Etihad Stadium went full steam ahead when he ditched Joe Hart for Claudio Bravo as one of his first acts after joining the club in 2016.

The Barcelona stopper had a positive reputation, and £16m was a sizable fee for a goalkeeper 33 years old at the time.

He was brought in for his distribution qualities to help Guardiola instil his style, but it soon became apparent that he struggled in other areas… like saving shots.

Bravo’s concentration lapses meant he didn’t last long as City’s No 1, with Ederson replacing him in a big-money arrival the following summer.


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Dmytro Chygrynski (2009, £22m)

Ahead of Guardiola’s second season in charge of Barcelona, he splashed a whopping £22m to sign Shakhtar Donetsk centre-back Dmytro Chygrynski.

The negotiations were drawn-out, and Guardiola was desperate to add Chygrynski to his ranks at the Nou Camp.

But after struggling to adapt to the Blaugrana boss’ style of play, Chygrynski returned to Ukraine after just one season.

Barca made a loss of around £10m.

Danilo (2017, £27m)

City splashed £27m to sign Danilo from Real Madrid in Guardiola’s second summer, which featured another big-money full-back signing (more on that shortly)…

The Brazilian struggled in England and was often asked to play at left-back, despite spending his career on the right.

His best contribution to City came in 2019 when he left the club as part of a swap deal for Juventus’ Joao Cancelo.

That full-back signing worked out a little bit better for Guardiola… before January, anyway.

Benjamin Mendy (2017, £52m)

Guardiola emphasised the importance of full-backs to his system by spending big on several in his first few years as City boss.

One was Benjamin Mendy, who joined in a £52m deal from AS Monaco in 2017.

But the Frenchman was regularly hampered by injuries and failed to impress when he was on the pitch.

Mendy hasn’t played for City since August 2021, and with value for money in mind, he must go down as Guardiola’s worst-ever signing.

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