Manchester City’s controlled summer of buying and selling turned them into net spending kings of the ‘big six’ and led to one of the most successful transfer windows in the club’s history.
Not only did the champions land one of the best No.9s in world football, Erling Haaland, they also revamped the first team and made a handsome profit of over £50m ($58.4m) .
From the outside, transfer activity at City might have looked a bit frantic, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The trust of transfer masterminds comprising chairman Khaldoon Mubarak, manager Pep Guardiola, director of football Txiki Begiristain, director of football operations Omar Berrada and CEO of City Football Group Ferran Soriano, have undertaken a surgical renewal of the first crew. This included selling young players who were not going to be on Guardiola’s squad roster or who had lost patience in their attempt to do so.
The sums published for buys and sells are ballpark figures, with buy and sell clubs being notoriously timid about the fees and size of add-ons included in any transaction.
However, what is clear is that City – a club usually criticized for buying success – have made a big profit on transfers, which will not only help them in their quest for self-sufficiency, but will also put them at risk. position of strength to attack the next windows. with confidence and certainty.
In the last two windows alone, the Academy, led by Premier League winner Jason Wilcox, have made a profit of £60million. This summer, City were the only team in the Premier League’s ‘big six’ with negative net spending. They took in around £55m.
A far cry from their reputation for spending money, City are the second lowest spenders in the English top flight over the past two seasons and only the 12th highest spender over the past five years – far behind Manchester United‘s top three , Arsenal and Chelsea and even below. Liverpool who are ninth.
City’s net spend over the last five seasons is £153m (an average of £30.6m). Over the same period, their neighbors at Old Trafford have spent an average of £105million.
Fourteen years of Sheikh Mansour’s ownership of City has all been about carefully building this summer’s events and those kinds of personalities. Winning and profiting are an exhilarating mix.
When Sheikh Mansour took over the club in 2008, there were big investments to make City one of the best clubs on the planet, on and off the pitch, but it was also underlined, through the chairman Mubarak, that self-sufficiency would eventually come and profits would be expected to become the norm.
City have been profitable for several years – despite the pandemic – but this summer has been the best ever. Despite spending over £140m on new additions – if Julian Alvarez’s transfer is included in this summer’s deals – they’ve also moved an astonishing 26 players (16 on permanent and 10 on loan), most of them from the youth academy.
This number rises to the extraordinary figure of 222 if you take into account all the other clubs in the City Football Group, of which Manchester City is the jewel in the crown.
Norwegian superstar Haaland was, of course, the main signing and was the first to be announced this summer for his £51million release clause from Borussia Dortmund.
Haaland, 22, had been on City’s scouting radar from the time he played first-team football as a teenager in Norway in 2017. Guardiola wanted him in 2021 as legendary Sergio Aguero arrived at the end of his his time at the Etihad but Dortmund held firm and there was no buyout clause.
This led to a high-profile pursuit of England captain Harry Kane, although that interest was cut short by Tottenham’s refusal to sell, and City won the league and came within 30 seconds of a second consecutive final of the Champions League without a recognized striker before the club. to Haaland again.
City set out to sell their football project to Haaland, with the player ultimately pondering between La Liga and the Premier League.
Most of the talk was about how he would fit into Guardiola’s style of play. Begiristain was instrumental in pointing out to Haaland the quality of the supporting cast who would play alongside him and the striker had also done their homework.
In the end, despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United, Haaland narrowed his choice to Real Madrid or City.
The transfer was done quickly with Dortmund thanks to the buyout clause and Haaland – who was going to take the former No.15 from his father Alfie – inherited the No.9 when Gabriel Jesus moved to Arsenal. City had two kits waiting for their unveiling at the Etihad Stadium.
It’s a move that has worked spectacularly so far, with Haaland scoring 12 goals in his first seven games for City, who face the striker’s former club Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday.
The departure of Jesus and that of England winger Raheem Sterling to Chelsea represented a perfect storm for the champions who were able to secure big money for two stars in the final year of their contracts.
With those two gone and Alvarez and Haaland, there was an air of calm over the rest of the summer for City movers and shakers.
There was the satisfaction of signing six new players, giving Guardiola a third iteration of his squad and still turning a profit.
England international Kalvin Phillips followed from Leeds United to increase the midfield after captain Fernandinho’s emotional departure, Swiss defender Manuel Akanji arrived on Dortmund’s deadline day for £15million, and the team still have bolstered by the arrivals of goalkeeper Stefan Ortega and left-back Sergio. Gomez.
Of the others who left, several went to Southampton. Gavin Bazunu, Romeo Lavia, Samuel Edozie and Juan Larios all headed to the South Coast for a combined cost of over £40m.
Southampton have also taken former Academy recruiting officer from the city, Joe Shields, which may partly explain the glut of moves. City have, wisely, inserted buyout clauses into transfers.
Updated: September 13, 2022, 9:28 PM