HomeFootball NewsTxiki Begiristain - the main man behind Manchester City’s transfers

Txiki Begiristain – the main man behind Manchester City’s transfers

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Over the last decade, Manchester City have brought some of the biggest talents in world football to the Etihad Stadium. The man tasked with overseeing City’s recruitment is sporting director Txiki Begiristain, who is highly regarded in senior football management circles.

The Spaniard began his work at City in October 2012 and during his time there the club have won six league titles, two FA cups, five league cups and most recently the UEFA Champions League. Begiristain has played a key role in the success story.

During the 1980s and ‘90s, Begiristain played as an attacker for the likes of Real Sociedad, Barcelona and Deportivo la Coruña, with a two-year spell in Japan at the end of his career. He represented his country at Euro ‘88 and the World Cup in 1994.

In his time with Barcelona (1988-1995), he played over 100 times with a certain Pep Guardiola. They have since worked very successfully together as sporting director and manager at Barcelona and City respectively.

Begiristain began his career as a sporting director in 2003 at Barcelona. His remarkable time in the role came to a climax at the end of the 2009-10 season, after Barça had won the league, Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup under Guardiola.

After two years away from the game, he got back into work with City when their manager was Roberto Mancini. Unfortunately, his only season working with the Italian saw the club lose out on the league title and suffer a shock FA Cup final defeat to Wigan.

Begiristain’s first summer transfer window at City before the 2013-14 season saw the arrival of Fernandinho and that campaign saw the Blues win the league under Manuel Pellegrini.

Since his arrival in Manchester, Begiristain has brought in the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Rodri, Ruben Dias, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland.

Signings that have not quite worked out have been fairly uncommon, though Begiristain’s critics will always point to the expensive 2014 purchase of Eliaquim Mangala early in his tenure as part of the City hierarchy.

The knack of consistently bringing in the right players for Guardiola to work with saw the club win the treble last season, a feat only previously achieved by one other English club, Manchester United in 1999.

The relatively recent recruitment of Manuel Akanji and Julián Álvarez for £15m and £18m respectively was excellent business, with both players contributing to City’s 2022-23 triumphs. The capture of Haaland for £52m last summer was brilliantly timed and executed.

Whilst City clearly have plenty of cash, Begiristain in fact has a prudent transfer policy. If a club is asking for too much money, then he will simply look at alternative options. Recently, City walked away from transfer deals for Declan Rice and Harry Kane as they were not willing to spend more than they believe the player is worth.

Looking further back, City have not gone through with deals for Marc Cucurella, Harry Maguire, Jorginho and Alexis Sanchez, allowing other clubs to pay more than they were willing to. This way of working means that City do not often get forced to pay over-inflated fees for players simply because they are a club with lots of money.

With his close relationship with Guardiola, it is unknown whether Begiristain will leave when Guardiola finally departs from Manchester. He has already enjoyed over a decade of success with the club.

The strength of the City squad is partly down to Guardiola’s coaching and partly thanks to Begiristain continually bringing in the class and quality.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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