Jack Grealish will seal his move to Manchester City on Thursday. The midfielder is leaving Aston Villa’s youth club.

The Mail reports that the fee will be £ 100m, a new record UK fee that dwarfs the money United spent on Paul Pogba in 2016.

This means that city manager Pep Guardiola has spent a staggering £ 918 million on players since taking over five years ago.

While they haven’t broken the record for a single player yet, City have tirelessly expanded their roster with major signings.

City cannot be made this summer either. The Mail City report still plans to sign Harry Kane on a deal that would cost over £ 100 million and bring Guardiola’s spending to over £ 1 billion.

(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA / Getty Images)

This shows the scale of the challenge Manchester United will have to overcome to catch up with City.

United has also spent, buying Jadon Sancho for £ 72m and Harry Maguire for £ 80m two years ago.

The deals for Sancho and Varane have brought United to just over £ 800m in fees since 2016.

What is the difference to City and United?

The difference on United’s side was that it was sometimes badly invested and the club have been catching up since Sir Alex Ferguson’s resignation.

But go back further and then you will see a difference.

In the five years from 2008 to 2013 between taking over City and retiring Sir Alex Ferguson, the blue side of Manchester had a net spend of £ 419.6 million.

During that time, United only spent £ 70.1m net on players.

This was where the damage was done, and while Sir Alex Ferguson could cover the cracks, David Moyes could not.

Ed Woodward, who oversaw the transfer budget, helped keep Louis van Gaal’s tenure stagnant. Jose Mourinho tried and United invested intermittently, but it didn’t work out either. During this time, City persisted.

Comparison of net expenditures 2008 to today

Before joining Jack Grealish, City’s net spend since 2008 has been £ 1,270,000,000.

Grealish’s arrival was slightly offset by the departures of Jack Harrison, Lukas Nmecha and Angelino. So your current net spend is £ 1,370,765,000.

Over the same period, including the deals for Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, United’s net spend is £ 927,000,000.

(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)

City has 1.37 billion in net spending and United 927 million pounds since acquiring City. A move from Harry Kane could widen this spending gap.

The sad thing is that without the Glazers, United would be able to outperform City as the club is making its own money. But since United’s money is tied up on debt servicing, the club can’t spend as freely as City.

It serves to highlight that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done a lot of work to overtake City. Solskjaer has beaten Guardiola several times but the United squad lacked the consistency to achieve real success.

Solskjaer is still very much maligned by the media for not winning the title, but that’s hardly fair. City’s spending spree creates an uneven playing field and while United are better off than many others in the competition, the numbers make it difficult for any club to overtake them.

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