Manchester City have managed to strike some bargain deals in the January transfer window over the years and we’ve checked in on their 10 most expensive winter buys.
City are currently chasing league-leaders Liverpool as they look to retain the Premier League title they’ve won three seasons in a row, while defending their FA Cup and Champions League crowns.
Will they dip into the January market? We’ve checked out where City’s 10 most expensive January signings are today as an indicator of their success.
Note: all transfer figures used have been gathered from Transfermarkt.
10. Robbie Fowler – £6million
With City making a solid return to Premier League life in 2002-03, Kevin Keegan convinced the board to open the chequebook and sign Fowler from Leeds in the inaugural January window.
His best goalscoring return at the Citizens saw him net 11 league goals in the 2004-05 season, but the former England striker largely failed to shine in a three-season stay.
To the surprise of many, Fowler returned to Anfield under Rafael Benitez in 2006 and enjoyed a heart-warming 18-month stay, even if he wasn’t the all-action goalscorer that tormented defenders throughout his 90s pomp.
He is now in management and was most recently employed by Saudi Pro League side Al-Qadsiah.
🗓️ | ON THIS DAY in 2004
Manchester City 4-1 Man United
⚽️ Robbie Fowler (3')
⚽️ Jon Macken (32')
⚽️ Trevor Sinclair (73')
⚽️ Shaun Wright-Phillips (90')
⚽️ Paul Scholes (35')pic.twitter.com/0fOqkThydo
— Bluescreen Warriors (@Bluescreen_MCFC) March 14, 2023
9. Maximo Perrone – £8million
Perrone arrived at City in 2023 from River Plate and revealed he based his game around Sergio Busquets.
“I want to cover all the positions in the midfield,” the Argentinian said. “I think I am a ‘five’ and I identify a lot with the pass. I like it and I enjoy it a lot.”
The 20-year-old made his Premier League debut against Bournemouth in February 2023, but is spending the 2023-24 season on loan at Las Palmas.
He has made 10 appearances for the La Liga side to date.
8. Wayne Bridge – £10million
Bridge arrived from Chelsea in January 2009, but his club debut was a humiliating 3-0 defeat to lower-league Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup.
After City signed Aleksander Kolarov and Gael Clichy, the full-back struggled for game time and was sent out on loan three times.
He signed a one-year contract at Reading in 2013 but retired at the end of the season after only making 12 appearances.
Away from football, the 43-year-old was a contestant on ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ in 2016.
7. Craig Bellamy – £14million
Bellamy was the second of three consecutive entries to arrive at City in January 2009, with the newly-minted Citizens paying West Ham £14million for the striker.
Between 2009 and 2010, the former Wales international netted 10 times for City in 41 appearances under Mark Hughes with a wonderful goal in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in September 2009 being the pick of the bunch.
After spells at Liverpool and Cardiff, Bellamy retired and went into coaching. He is currently working alongside City legend Vincent Kompany at Burnley.
— Premier League (@premierleague) November 27, 2020
6. Julian Alvarez – £14.1million
Rarely has money been better spent in the modern era – Alvarez has been a hit at the Etihad and has basically completed football at the age of 23.
5. Nigel de Jong – £16million
The third player signed as City fought against relegation in 2008-09, Mark Hughes forked out £16million for De Jong, who City could have got on a free just a few months later.
But the arrival of the Netherlands midfielder helped lift City to 10th by the season’s end, with De Jong playing an important role in the club’s subsequent rise under Roberto Mancini.
Best remembered for that karate kick in the 2010 World Cup final, De Jong is currently the technical director of the KNVB, the national Dutch football federation, and also appears as a pundit on beIN SPORTS’ coverage of the Premier League.
=3. Gabriel Jesus – £27million
Snapped up from Palmeiras in 2017, Jesus scored 95 goals in 236 City appearances and won a plethora of trophies without ever looking likely to become the club’s No. 9.
“There was a Champions League game, PSG, at home, in which he put Zinchenko as a false 9. Crazy thing,” Jesus reminisced in an interview last year.
“The day before, he didn’t even use [Zinchenko] in training, he had put me in as a striker. … Zinchenko even joked with me: ‘that day I felt bad for you.’”
The Brazilian cried at Guardiola’s decision to omit him and decided there and then his time at City was over.
He joined Arsenal in 2022 and, after a bright start, has oscillated between brilliance and frustration once more. The Gunners are reportedly eager to sign a striker this window…
=3. Edin Dzeko – £27million
Perhaps one of the most underrated strikers of his generation, Dzeko is still finding the back of the net on a regular basis well into his thirties.
City fans will remember the big Bosnian fondly; after arriving from Wolfsburg in 2011, Dzeko banged in 72 goals over four-and-a-half seasons in English football.
After a short but sweet spell with Inter Milan, the 37-year-old penned a two-year deal with Fenerbahce last summer. He’s hit the ground running too with 16 goals in his first 122 matches for his new club.
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 7, 2020
2. Wilfried Bony – £28million
One of the biggest flops of the Abu Dhabi era, Bony was never able to replicate the form he showed at Swansea that made City pay £28million for his services in 2015.
After just 10 goals in 48 appearances, the majority from the bench or in cup competitions, Bony was loaned to Stoke before City cut their losses and sanctioned his return to Swansea.
Now 35, the former Ivory Coast international has played in Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and Bolivia for the brilliantly named Always Ready. He is currently looking for his next club.
1. Aymeric Laporte – £57million
Arguably one of the best centre-backs in Europe on his day, Laporte became City’s record winter signing when arriving from Athletic Club.
The Spain international was once a vital player for City, but fell to the periphery in his final season and left for the Saudi Pro League last summer.
“It has lasted five-and-a-half unforgettable years. Plenty of memories that I will keep forever close to my heart,” said Laporte in a goodbye statement.
“From trophies to setbacks, victories to injuries, it’s all been part of my journey, and I’m grateful for absolutely every moment that shaped me into who I am today.”
He has made 15 appearances for Al-Nassr, scoring once, and remains one of the first names on the teamsheet for Spain.