By 90Min
July 12, 2018

Manchester City's club record capture of Riyad Mahrez this week saw Pep Guardiola's spend on players during his managerial career exceed £1billion (£1.017bn), with more than half that amount going on players since the Spaniard arrived in Manchester just two years ago.

Guardiola took his first senior job in 2008 when he was promoted from within to the role of Barcelona boss, before moving on to Bayern Munich in 2013 after a year-long sabbatical, and eventually taking over at City in the summer of 2016.

During that time, his clubs have massively backed him in the transfer market by adding expensive players to his squads every season, particularly the hierarchy at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola's Barcelona squad never needed significant spending, such was the class of a generation of home-grown players like Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and others.

Only the buys of Dani Alves and Gerard Pique proved to be of real long-term benefit, while the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of Guardiola's second season was Barça's most expensive acquisition by some distance and actually proved to be a poor fit for Camp Nou.

JOSEP LAGO/GettyImages

David Villa, Javier Mascherano, Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez were the other most high profile the board presented him with during that time, with the overall spend by Barça marginally exceeding £300m over the course of four seasons.

In three season at Bayern, Guardiola got a relatively modest £183m worth of new players, including Mario Gotze, Thiago Alcantara, Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa as the German champions attempted to kick on from a 2013 treble and translate their domestic dominance onto a continental scale.

But spending has really exploded since Guardiola arrived at Manchester City in two years ago.

The City squad was in need of major investment if it was to have any chance of matching the club's vast expectations and as much as £185m was spent in that first season alone as John Stones, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus were among the most expensive buys.

That 2016/17 figure is more than Guardiola's entire three-year spell in charge of Bayern.

City then spent an astounding £276m in 2017/18 on the likes of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Aymeric Laporte and others, just £30m less than Guardiola's entire four-year Barcelona spend.

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With Mahrez now on board after sealing a club record switch from Leicester, Guardiola spending broke through the £1billion barrier at the start of what is his 10th season as a manager.

It is impossible to argue with the results at City, especially after the way in which the team secured the 2017/18 Premier League title with new records for points, goals and wins, while the recruiting, despite being backed a seemingly bottomless bank account, has been strong.

But has his latest wave of success simply been bought?

Season Club Transfer Spend
2008/09 Barcelona £86.4m
2009/10 Barcelona £102.15m
2010/11 Barcelona £65.25m
2011/12 Barcelona £54m
2012/13 - -
2013/14 Bayern Munich £55.8m
2014/15 Bayern Munich £48.06m
2015/16 Bayern Munich £80.1m
2016/17 Manchester City £185.94m
2017/18 Manchester City £276.48m
2018/19* Manchester City £63.27m

*season ongoing

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