10 most expensive signings by Manchester City
On September 1, 2008, the summer transfer window was preparing to slide itself gently shut. What happened next will forever be etched in the memories of Manchester City supporters as the day that shaped their future.
With the club in a financially precarious position and his assets frozen by the Thai banks, Thaksin Shinawatra sold the club, out of the blue, to an unknown Arab investment company Abu Dhabi United Group. In the space of 10 hours, the Eastlands club were the subject of one of the biggest takeovers in Premier League history.
Without hesitation, the takeover was followed with a flurry of bids for high-profile players. First, lodging a cheeky bid with Tottenham to upstage Dimitar Berbatov’s move to Manchester United, before breaking the British transfer record by signing Brazilian international Robinho from Real Madrid for a reported £32.5 million.
The Sheikh Mansour-owned Manchester City have since spent a staggering £930.4 million on player transfers, turning themselves into genuine Premier League title contenders and a force to be reckoned with. Here are 10 of their most expensive signings over the years:
#10 Yaya Toure - €30.00 million
Can he play as one of the two deep-lying central midfielders, or is he better off in the free role further up the pitch? Has he become just lazy or a player seriously on the decline, edging towards a move to China or the MLS? One of the most intensely debated topics at Manchester City in recent years has always been the role of Yaya Toure.
"There isn't another Yaya," former City boss Roberto Mancini once said. It is a reflection of what Toure has been and of what he represents – arguably the most significant player in City’s rise.
Back in 2010, City were still the perennial underachievers when former chief executive Garry Cook brought the Ivorian to east Manchester from Barcelona. Toure’s arrival was the catalyst for a period of huge success, the spark needed to become a force in English football. Power, set-piece prowess and incredibly accurate passing abilities – Toure proved himself to be the final piece in Sheikh Mansour’s jigsaw.
Toure’s winner in the 1-0 win over Manchester United in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final was central to City ending a 35-year drought for a major piece of silverware. A title triumph 12 months later saw them snapping the stranglehold of the ‘Big Four’ on the Premier League.
Another FA Cup, another league title and two Capital One Cups have since followed with Toure being a prominent figure through all of it.