Is It As Simple As Manchester City Outspending the Others?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Pep Guardiola the head coach / manager of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Watford at Etihad Stadium on January 2, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho has spent £286.2 million during his 18-month tenure as Manchester United manager but claims it is not enough to deliver the Premiership title. Rivals Man City remain unbeaten and are running away with the title, while Mourinho’s men are left to scrap it out for a top four spot. That is despite breaking the world record to sign Paul Pogba, forking out £75 million on Romelu Lukaku and spending north of £30 million on five occasions to sign Nemanja Matic, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Just how much do Manchester United have to spend to catch Manchester City?

Manchester City Outspending the Others

Well, first off, it is worth pointing out that City have outspent United during Mourinho’s time in charge. They have snapped up Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Danilo, John Stones, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan, Claudio Bravo and Nolito, spending £81 million more than Man Utd since the summer of 2016. It is also worth noting that Pep Guardiola inherited a better squad, which had finished above Man Utd for the previous three seasons. Mourinho’s grumblings initially sound churlish, but when placed in that context they seem legitimate.

Of course, Arsene Wenger waded in and pointed out that he has been making do on a comparative shoestring budget for the past decade, arguing that Mourinho should simply make do with the resources available to him. But Wenger has not won the title in that time, and Mourinho is not content with simply making up the numbers. The Portuguese is a born winner and has won the league title in every managerial post he has held: Porto, Chelsea (twice), Inter and Real Madrid. He will be hell-bent on returning the Premiership to Old Trafford, but Man City will take some overhauling.

They have already beaten Man Utd this season, beaten Chelsea, beaten Arsenal, thrashed Tottenham and thrashed Liverpool. They have not tasted defeat and are on course to break the Premiership record for the most points earned in a season. Betonline will have odds, make sure to check them, and you will see that Man City are huge favourites to win all their upcoming games and win the title at a canter.

They also show no signs that they will stop spending any time soon. A £60 million summer bid for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez fell through at the last minute, but the Chilean could well be on his way to The Etihad soon. Man City’s owners are fabulously wealthy and will continue to back Guardiola to the hilt in the transfer market.

Leicester have shown that you can win the Premiership title on a shoestring, but they are the exception to the overwhelming rule. The Premiership is an arms race and the teams that have spent big have seized glory: City, Utd and Chelsea. Liverpool are starting to ramp up their spending, so Man Utd need to not only outspend their rivals, but they need to outspend them by a hefty margin. Considering Man City, spent more than £170 million in each of the last two transfer windows, it might take an outlay of £400 million in the next year to catch them up. Transfermarkt values the Man City squad as being worth £200 million more than Utd’s, and they will add to it, so Utd theoretically need to spend at least £400 million to have a similar level of firepower. Nowadays, that sort of outlay gets you Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and a bit of change. It is no coincidence that the only team keeping pace with Man City in the Champions League winner odds is PSG. If Man Utd want to continue to go toe to toe with these oil-rich clubs, they need to match them for spending. Whether or not they can is another matter. If not, Mourinho might start looking for houses in the Paris area.

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