Kevin de Bruyne refused moves to Bayern Munich and Paris St Germain in order to join City.
The Blues tied up a £54.5million deal for the Belgium international, and his skipper – now for club and country – Vincent Kompany tipped the former Wolfsburg man to be a big hit at the Etihad.
And after the signing, it emerged just how far City and their football director Txiki Begiristain had gone in order to secure the Bundesliga player of the year.
It also became clear that de Bruyne had his eyes on a return to the Premier League – and City in particular, all the way through the protracted summer saga.
The Blues first inquired about de Bruyne before the end of last season, but Wolfsburg came up with a flat refusal, saying the player was not for sale.
That was no transfer tactic – they felt he was vital if they were to close the gap on champions Bayern.
Bayern were interested in de Bruyne but were asked by Volkswagen – who own their main sponsors Audi – not to bid, so they pulled out.
City and PSG both made initial offers, and Wolfsburg, in response, offered to double de Bruyne’s salary if he would stay for another season.
When de Bruyne refused that, it was clear he was intent on leaving – so Wolfsburg tried to drag Bayern back into the race.
De Bruyne said he was not interested in Bayern and after PSG made a £45.8m bid, and said they would loan him back to Wolfsburg this season, de Bruyne turned them down as well.
That forced Wolfsburg to deal with City alone – and a final figure of £54.5million was finally agreed.
Kompany said de Bruyne’s abortive stay at Chelsea was partly down to his youth – but also down to the Londoners’ more negative style.
“He’s become the best player in Germany and we all know what great players play in the German league so that says enough,” said the Blues skipper.
“It’s a completely different style of football that we play and certain players are better fitted to certain clubs, that’s just the way it is.”