With new Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini likely to be given a massive transfer war chest, it is an excellent opportunity to look at the former Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga boss's previous transfer dealings.
We have set up an all-time transfer XI of the very best of them.
Goalkeeper: Diego Lopez | Villarreal CF
The Spanish shot-stopper was bought by Pellegrini for around £5.1m in 2007. He made 171 league appearances for Villarreal in total. The 6ft 5in goalkeeper played a pivotal role under Pellegrini and continued to do so after his manager left for Real Madrid which, coincidentally, Lopez himself did upon Villarreal's relegation from La Liga.
Last season he was able to displace Madrid legend, Iker Casillas from between the posts which he has occupied for so long. This was due to tensions between Casillas and ex-manager Jose Mourinho.
Right-back: Alvaro Arbeloa | Real Madrid
Brought to the Bernabeu to replace Miguel Torres and Michel Salgado, Arbeloa was considered an excellent purchase, with Liverpool accepting only £5m for the Spanish international.
Since joining Madrid he has made 107 appearances and has led to Sergio Ramos being utilised at centre-back, so as to offer more width and pace in the full-back role.
Centre-back: Raul Albiol | Real Madrid
The versatile defender was bought for £15m, being given the number 18 jersey upon his move from Spanish rivals, Valencia. He has gone on to make 81 appearances at the Bernabeu and 39 for the Spanish national side.
One of Albiol's biggest strengths is his versatility, allowing him to play practically anywhere across the back four.
Centre-back: Diego Godin | Villarreal CF
The Uruguayan centre-half is one of Pellegrini's sharpest finds, signing Godin when he was only 20 years of age. He is a brute of a defender, yet combines this with decent ball control and passing ability. Godin made 91 appearances at the Estadio El Madrigal before earning a £6.6m move to Atletico Madrid in 2010, where he has played ever since.
Left-back: Nacho Monreal | Malaga
Yet another Spaniard makes the XI at left-back, after Nacho Monreal's move from Osasuna in a £5.3m deal. Although his time at Malaga was fairly brief, Monreal was a pivotal individual in securing Champions League for Pellegrini.
His bombing runs and excellent crossing were utilised often throughout the campaign. The Spaniard's form resulted in a move to Premier League club Arsenal for an undisclosed fee, thought to be around £8m.
Right-wing: Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid
Upon his arrival at Real, the Chilean manager proceeded to utilise the largest transfer budget in the club’s history, most notably with the £80m signing of possibly the best player in the world, Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar has been in scintillating form while at the Bernabeu, scoring 201 goals in only 199 games! There is the possibility of a move back to Old Trafford on the cards, but Ronaldo will always be considered a Madrid legend.
Centre-midfielder: Santi Cazorla | Villarreal & Malaga
The fact that Pellegrini bought the diminutive playmaker while at both Malaga and Villarreal is a tribute to the impact that Cazorla has on the teams he plays for.
With outstanding vision and clinical free-kick taking ability, the Spanish international was brought to Malaga for around £17m. However, just as they did with Monreal, Arsenal have taken advantage of the financial demise of Malaga and stripped them of one of their most prized assets. He has had an excellent season at the Emirates, scoring 12 and setting up 14 more.
Centre-midfielder: Xabi Alonso | Real Madrid
The holding midfielder continues to be one of the key players at every club he’s at. His passing, determination and vision have marked him out as one of the best players in the world for his position.
Pellegrini brought him to the Bernabeu for £30m from Liverpool, with former teammate Steven Gerrard apparently being “devastated” by the midfielder’s decision.
Left-wing: Isco | Malaga
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder is one of the brightest stars in world football at the moment. Pellegrini activated a £4.5m buyout clause to bring the talented youngster back to La Rosaleda.
He scored 12 goals in 46 appearances, while also contributing four assists. With Pellegrini heading to Manchester City, it seems highly likely that Isco could be following him.
Striker: Giuseppe Rossi | Villarreal CF
Although a flop at Old Trafford, Rossi found Villarreal to be a place where his talents were truly appreciated and he scored 54 goals in his 136 appearances.
He joined for around £6.6m and was certainly worth every penny, with 2010/11 being his standout season where, in 56 appearances, he hit the net 32 times.
Striker: Karim Benzema | Real Madrid
Another of Pellegrini’s mega signings while at Real Madrid, the French striker was bought for £30m. He has been prolific in his time at the Bernabeu, scoring 89 goals and adding 50 assists to his tally. However, he has been linked with a move away from Madrid after his less than impressive efforts in front of goal last season.
It is apparent that Pellegrini is highly knowledgeable when it comes to making big-name transfer signings and appears especially fond of purchasing Spanish players. This could prove useful to Manchester City, with Isco being a viable option for the Citizens this summer.
But what do you think? Which other Pellegrini signings should make his Ultimate Transfer XI. Leave your comments below.
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