Man City's 10 most expensive transfers of all time

Cameron Smith
Kevin De Bruyne: I am happy at Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne: I am happy at Manchester City

After Sheikh Mansour purchased the club in August 2008, Manchester City's fortunes were changed forever, with the influx of money ensuring they were able to attract a higher calibre of players than ever before.

The £38 million signing of Robinho just days into Mansour's reign set things in motion, and since then he spent over £1 billion investing into the club.

With five Premier League triumphs, six League Cup wins, and two FA Cup victories since 2008, it's fair to say that Mansour's money has brought immense success to Man City, but who are their 10 most expensive signings of all time?

10.Kyle Walker - £47m (from Tottenham, 2017)

After he excelled in North London, Manchester City splashed out nearly £50m on Kyle Walker to bring him up north. It was one of several defensive acquisitions in 2017/18 and that year, the club ended their four-year drought without a Premier League title.

Since arriving in Manchester, Walker has played over 150 games for the club, winning 10 trophies along the way.

He's been an excellent signing for the club, providing solidity on the right flank, and adjusting to the demands of playing full-back in a Pep Guardiola team with expert ease.

9.John Stones - £50m (from Everton, 2016)

Signed as a 22-year-old, Stones was still a raw talent, despite breaking into the Everton team at just 19. His on-the-ball ability was what impressed Guardiola, and although Stones looked comfortable at first, a few mistakes rocked his confidence and he was soon reduced to a bit-part role.

After making 23 Premier League starts in his debut campaign, he's never made more in a single season since, and that tally of league starts dropped to just 12 in 2019/20.

However, he's experienced a resurgence in the past nine months, and is now back in favour at both club and international level after an impressive 2020/21 season.

8. Benjamin Mendy - £52m (from Monaco, 2017

Signed in the same summer as the aforementioned Walker, Benjamin Mendy arrived with great expectations having helped Monaco to Ligue 1 glory in the previous season.

However, despite a promising first few games, Mendy has been plagued with injuries during his time in Manchester, missing over 120 games through injury since the transfer.

Even when fit, he's often been named on the bench, with Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko the current rotation options at left-back, whilst Fabian Delph filled that role during Mendy's first big injury.

It's one of the few transfers on this list that hasn't worked out.

It's hard to think that £68m can be a bargain, but Kevin De Bruyne has proven that it's possible
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7. Rodri - £56m (from Atletico Madrid, 2019)

A tall defensive midfielder with an eye for a pass, Rodri was the player selected by Man City to replace the ageing Fernandinho. After a sluggish first year in which he adjusted to English football, Rodri came into his own in 2020/21, helping the side to yet another Premier League triumph.

Having never dropped below a 90% pass accuracy, Rodri is the perfect Guardiola defensive midfielder, akin to Sergio Busquets.

6. Raheem Sterling - £57m (from Liverpool, 2015)

Sterling was just 20 when this move happened, and it represented a huge gamble from City's hierarchy. He had displayed his talent at Liverpool, but he was far from consistent, which was shown by his tally of six goals and two assists in his first Premier League season for City; for someone who cost so much, that wasn't good.

However, once Guardiola began to work with Sterling, he became far more clinical in front of goal, and his 18 strikes in the 2017/18 season, and 17 the following year helped the side to back-to-back titles.

It was a risky move at the time, but it's certainly paid off. Now 26, it seems as though Sterling has been around forever, but he still has years left at the top level.

5. Aymeric Laporte - £58.5m (from Athletic Bilbao, 2018)

As expected when it comes to buying from Athletic Bilbao, Aymeric Laporte cost a fortune when City signed him in January 2018. His reinforcement helped the side to the title that year, and although Stones and Ruben Dias have formed a formidable partnership this season, he's still a vital member of the squad.

His second full season at the club was hampered by injury, and his absence saw the title slip from City's grasp; his presence at the back was sorely missed as Liverpool strode to glory.

Still only 27, Laporte still has several years of top performance left in him.

4. Joao Cancelo - £58.5m (from Juventus, 2019)

Part of a swap deal that involved Danilo going the other way, Joao Cancelo has been an excellent addition to this Man City squad. After having an adaption year in 2019/20, much like Rodri, Cancelo came into his own last season, and is the epitome of a Guardiola player.

His tactical versatility is immense, with the Portuguese international starting from either full-back role, and moving inside as a central midfielder when City have the ball.

He was an integral part of the title win in 2020/21, and his importance to the team can't be understated.

3. Riyad Mahrez - £61m (from Leicester, 2018)

It took a few years after Leicester's shock Premier League win before Riyad Mahrez was granted his wish to move away, and when it happened, it didn't come cheap.

However, City knew the talent he possessed, and with arguably the best first touch in football, Mahrez is a joy to watch.

Over 140 appearances and 73 goal contributions later, Mahrez has impressed, although for £61m, it could be argued that more was expected of him.

2. Ruben Dias - £61m (from Benfica, 2020)

Now, this was a risk. Ruben Dias was seen as an immense talent in Portugal, but his slight weakness in defending big spaces caused many to worry about his big money move to Man City. However, he has eased those concerns since he arrived in England, and having guided City to Premier League glory, and winning the FWA Player of the Year award, it's been a stellar first season.

The aforementioned partnership with Stones has been crucial to City's success, and at just 24, Dias has a big future at the Etihad ahead of him.

1. Kevin De Bruyne - £68.4m (from Wolfsburg, 2015)

Signed the year before Guardiola arrived, Kevin De Bruyne joined Man City with the weight of the English press' criticism on his shoulders. After an underwhelming spell at Chelsea in which he was never really given a fair shot, he then lit up the Bundesliga and since signing for City, the rest is history.

He's won 11 trophies at the club, made over 250 appearances, and contributed to over 160 goals. De Bruyne is a Manchester City legend, and one of the their greatest ever signings.

It's hard to think that £68m can be a bargain, but De Bruyne has proven that it's possible.