With City having splashed out more than US$1 billion on new players over the past three-and-a-half years, Mancini had been left frustrated this summer by the lack of spending by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners.
That is a sign of the times, with the total transfer spend across Europe this year — excluding deals on Thursday and Friday — being 78 percent less than the average from 2008 to last year.
City bought England midfielder Jack Rodwell from Everton for a reported ￡15 million before the start of the season, but Mancini has been suggesting he was ready to dip back into the market this week.
In came Maicon, a buccaneering fullback in the mould of a player who already plays at rightback for City — Micah Richards. Sinclair had already joined by then, a like-for-like replacement for Adam Johnson, who signed for Sunderland last week.
Then the 19-year-old Nastasic was signed to bolster the squad’s defensive options before the acquisition of Garcia, for a fee believed to be in the region of ￡16 million.
City, who also brought in former Arsenal goalkeeper Richard Wright as backup, got a big earner off the wage bill by selling Santa Cruz to Malaga, having sold Emmanuel Adebayor to Tottenham last week.
Swansea, who have won both of its games in the Premier League this season under new manager Michael Laudrup, filled the void left by Sinclair by signing Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez for a club-record ￡5.5 million.
Other deals in England saw Gaston Ramirez join newly promoted Southampton from Bologna, Everton sign Costa Rican left winger Bryan Oviedo from Copenhagen, West Bromwich Albion acquire fullback Goran Popov from Dynamo Kiev and Arsenal loan out Korean forward Park Chu-young to Celta Vigo.