Nothing sums up the reckless spending of Premier League clubs more than the £42 million Manchester City spent on Eliaquim Mangala in 2014.
Every City fan would have been sold on Mangala’s talents, even before watching him play, based on Manuel Pellegrini’s assessment of the French defender.
"He has all of the mental, physical, technical and tactical attributes to become one of Europe's very best defenders,” Pellegrini said, per BBC Sport.
"Eliaquim is a player I believe will make an immediate impact in the Premier League, thanks to his physicality, his reading of the game and quality on the ball.
"I think he will prove to be a great signing for us."
Not even three years into his five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium, it would appear that Mangala’s time at City is up.
A really great signing, hey?
Mangala is close to leaving Man City
The 26-year-old spent last season on loan at Valencia but Spain isn’t his destination, according to the Manchester Evening News.
They believe that Mangala is close to securing a move to Ligue 1 outfit Lyon.
The former Porto man was spotted outside the club’s training ground and the deal is expected to be confirmed in the next 24 hours.
And how much will City recoup of their £42m outlay? A pretty respectable £18m.
It’s a loss of £24m, of course. But for a player deemed surplus to requirements, City really can’t be too disappointed.
Fans react to £18m fee
Fans have expressed their delight at getting such a sizeable fee for a player who Pep Guardiola quickly decided doesn’t have a future in Manchester.
Mangala, according to M.E.N., had hoped for a chance to fight for his place at City.
And he probably expected an opportunity. He didn’t look entirely convincing during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons but City are short on centre-backs.
Guardiola isn't prioritising adding a new centre-back
According to James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, Guardiola is willing to enter the new season without adding to his centre-back options.
There is money available, however, as there always is at City.
Robson adds that Guardiola can pursue moves for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk and Juventus man Leonardo Bonucci, if he so chooses.
That extra £18m will be useful.
Should Guardiola have given Mangala a chance this pre-season? Let us know in the comments section below!