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Fresh from their latest dose of Champions League heartbreak, it appears Manchester City mean business in this summer's transfer window.
Pep Guardiola's side were minutes away from securing their spot in a second successive Champions League final on Wednesday night before a late capitulation saw Real Madrid complete the most astonishing of comebacks. The dramatic defeat left the Spaniard looking shell-shocked as City's hopes of clinching Europe's greatest honour were once again shelved for another year.
City will now have to wait until next season to give European glory another go, when it appears they may well be bigger and better than ever before. Having already reportedly agreed terms with in-demand Borussia Dortmund hitman Erling Haaland, City are now eyeing a move for Barcelona's midfield mastermind Frenkie de Jong, according to The Times.
With a summer splurge imminent and City's star-studded squad set for a sensational upgrade, Daily Star Sport takes a closer look at some of the Premier League's biggest ever spending sprees.
5. Manchester United (2014) – £174m
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Having seen Sir Alex Ferguson's chosen successor, David Moyes, flop in spectacular fashion the previous season, Manchester United appointed Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2014 and immediately backed their new boss. The Dutchman was splashed £174m in cash on a host of high-profile names as he sought an immediate fix to United's woes.
Angel Di Maria arrived from Real Madrid for a whopping £68m as the club's flagship signing and he was joined in the same window by Southampton's Luke Shaw in a £34m deal and Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera for a slightly smaller £32m. If that wasn't enough, the Red Devils also forked out £18m on Marcus Rojo from Sporting Lisbon, £14m on Daley Blind from Ajax and a further £7m in order to capture Radamel Falcao on loan.
As we all know, the mass of new arrivals failed to return United to the glory days of old. Van Gaal's 'army' scrambled to a fourth-placed finish in a season devoid of trophies as the likes of Di Maria and Falcao in particular endured nightmare stints at the Theatre of Dreams.
4. Chelsea (2017) – £183m
As reward for guiding Chelsea to the Premier League title during his first season in charge, Antonio Conte was afforded mega money to spend in the summer of 2017. And the Italian didn't hold back.
Conte captured Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata for a staggering £59m, in addition to Monaco's Tiemoue Bakayoko for £40m and Leicester's Danny Drinkwater for an eye-popping £35m. Other mega-money arrivals that summer included Antonio Rudiger from Roma in a £31m deal and Conte's compatriot Davide Zappacosta from Torino for a further £19million.
Looking back, it was a disastrous window for the Blues, with only Rudiger able to carve out a credible career at Stamford Bridge; as for the others, they were swiftly moved on. Having said that, Chelsea are now set to lose the German star for nothing to Real Madrid come the end of this season.
3. Manchester City (2015) – £185m
Should City clinch deals for Haaland and De Jong this summer, it wouldn't be the first time they've gone big in a single transfer window. And one would imagine it won't be the last if the Champions League continues to evade the club, either.
Back in 2015, a Guardiola-less City, then under the stewardship of Manuel Pellegrini, spent an enormous £185million on several star signings. The pick of the bunch was Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne for a heavily-criticised £68m, who was joined by Liverpool's Raheem Sterling for £57million and Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi for a further £40million.
While success wasn't immediate, with a fourth-placed Premier League finish the following season seeing Pellegrini lose his job, De Bruyne and Sterling would prove to be exceptional business. The pair have been two vital cogs in City's marauding machine under Guardiola, going on to help the club to three Premier League titles, one FA Cup crown and four League Cup triumphs. Money well spent.
2. Chelsea (2020) – £221m
Having sold Eden Hazard to Real Madrid the previous summer, Chelsea endured a testing 2019-20 campaign which saw the club finish fourth in the Premier League and fail to win a trophy under Frank Lampard. In need of reinforcements, the Chelsea boss was handed an almighty transfer war-chest by owner Roman Abramovich as he sought to once again bankroll the Blues back to the top of the game.
A jaw-dropping summer of spending saw the West Londoners acquire Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen for a club-record fee of £72m, Timo Werner from RB Leipzig in a £47.7m deal and Ben Chilwell from Leicester for in excess of £45m. Hakim Ziyech also arrived from Ajax for £36m and Edouard Mendy was purchased for £21.6m as the Blues undertook a significant squad overhaul.
A turbulent season, which saw Lampard sacked and subsequently replaced by Thomas Tuchel in January, ended in success as the German delivered a second ever Champions League triumph one week after being pipped to the FA Cup by Leicester. Ironically, despite the excessive expenditure, snapping up Thiago Silva on a free was arguably the Blues best bit of business that summer.
1. Manchester City (2017) – £222m
Unsurprisingly, the number one spot for single-window spending by a Premier League club is currently occupied by cash-rich City. Having failed to deliver immediate success in his maiden campaign in charge, Guardiola was handed a blank chequebook to raid the market and mould a stellar squad of his own making back in 2017.
The Spaniard swiftly set about trimming City's ranks of those deemed surplus to requirements, while securing the signings of five star names. City captured Tottenham's Kyle Walker for £50m alongside Monaco duo Bernardo Silva, for £43m, and Benjamin Mendy, for a mind-blowing £52m.
Ederson arrived from Benfica for £34.7m to satisfy Guardiola's craving for a ball-playing goalkeeper in addition to Real Madrid's Danilo for £26.5m – a player who would later be used in a swap deal for Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo. Premier League and League Cup honours immediately followed as Guardiola laid the foundations for one of the greatest side's in English football history.
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- Manchester City FC
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- Manchester United FC
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