Leroy Sane playing for Manchester City in 2016

Where are they now? Pep Guardiola’s first 10 signings as Man City boss

Pep Guardiola has enjoyed seven trophy-filled seasons with Manchester City, but not all of his first 10 signings for the club have had the same success.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss arrived in Manchester in the summer of 2016 and he endured a somewhat difficult first season as City finished third in the league and went trophyless.

Luckily, success was only around the corner and City have managed to win at least one trophy in each of their last six seasons under Guardiola We’ve gone back to 2016 when Guardiola first arrived at the club and have checked out where his first 10 signings are today.

Aaron Mooy

The Australian midfielder arrived at City in the same summer as Guardiola, but he never made a senior appearance. Mooy was immediately loaned out to Huddersfield Town who he then signed for on a permanent basis in the next summer.

While Mooy probably didn’t have the skill set to make it at the elite level, he has enjoyed a successful career in the top flight. Following stints with Brighton, Shanghai SIPG and Celtic, Mooy announced his retirement from professional football in the summer.

Ilkay Gundogan

What a deal this one proved to be. The German midfielder was Guardiola’s first major signing as City boss as he splashed £20million on the Borussia Dortmund star.

Gundogan was always a solid performer under Guardiola, but he became especially clutch in his final three years with the club. Time after time the German midfielder would pop up with a goal, just when the team needed it most.

His brace to seal the 2021-22 Premier League title will always be remembered and Gundogan also played a crucial role in the 2023-24 treble-winning campaign.

After enjoying seven seasons with the club, he finally called it quits in the summer to pursue a new challenge with Barcelona. He’ll always be welcome back at the Etihad.


Guardiola handed Nolito his Barcelona debut in 2010 and the Catalan boss splashed £13.8million to bring him to Manchester. Nolito had quite the reputation in La Liga, but he struggled to match those same expectations in the Premier League.

The Spanish winger only lasted one season at City before he was shipped back to Spain the following summer. Nolito played out his final days in Ibiza before announcing his retirement earlier this year.

Oleksandr Zinchenko

The versatile Ukrainian star managed to get his hands on 10 trophies during his six-year stint with City. While Guardiola clearly saw the talent in Zinchenko, the full-back often struggled to nail down a consistent starting spot.

He hasn’t had such issues since moving to Arsenal as he is now a regular starter under Mikel Arteta when fit.

Leroy Sane

The German winger was like lightning in a bottle while at his peak at City. Sane scored 39 goals in 135 appearances under Guardiola and won eight trophies during that time.

City did manage to flip a profit on the winger when selling him to Bayern Munich in 2020 and he’s currently in the form of his life. Now playing alongside Harry Kane, Sane has 14 goal contributions in just 11 Bundesliga matches this year.

There is some speculation surrounding his long-term future too with his contract at Bayern set to expire in 2025. The 27-year-old has even been linked with a sensational return to Man City by Bild. Watch this space.

Marlos Moreno

The Colombian forward joined City in the summer of 2016 for a reported fee of £4.75million, but he never managed a senior appearance. Moreno spent the following six seasons out on loan before he eventually left the club in 2022.

These days you can catch the 27-year-old playing in Turkey for Konyaspor. In 12 league appearances this season, Moreno has one goal.

Geronimo Rulli

The Argentine goalkeeper was another arrival in 2016 who never went onto make a senior appearance. Upon his arrival, Rulli was immediately loaned out to Real Sociedad who he ended up signing for the following summer.

Aged 31, Rulli now plays for Ajax although he has been out of action since August with a shoulder injury.

John Stones

Signed for a reported fee of £47.5million, Stones was the most expensive signing that Guardiola made during his first summer at City. The England international had some rocky patches to begin with at his new club too, but Guardiola always came to his defence.

“John Stones has more personality than all of us here together in this room,” Guardiola told reporters in 2017.

“More balls than everyone here. I like that. I love him. Under pressure, the people criticise him, so I am delighted to have John. With all his huge amount of mistakes. I love him. I love guys with this personality.”

Several years later and Stones is now considered as one of the best defenders in Europe. He has mastered the defensive role of stepping into midfield and City aren’t quite the same team without him.

Pablo Mari

The Spanish defender joined City in 2016 and then spent the following three years out on loan. Mari then had a short spell with Arsenal, but he struggled to nail down a consistent starting spot.

However, Mari did manage to impress while on loan with Italian outfit Monza and the move was made permanent in the summer.

Claudio Bravo

As Guardiola swiftly pushed Joe Hart aside, Bravo was signed due to his ball-playing ability. While the Chilean goalkeeper was tidy with the ball at his feet, his shot-stopping skills weren’t up to standard.

In his debut season with City, Bravo saved just 56.7% of the shots he faced in the Premier League and he was swiftly replaced by Ederson the following summer.

Despite not looking up to standard in the Premier League, Bravo continues to impress for Real Betis to this day as a 40-year-old.

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