If Manchester City’s record summer spend of £160m set last year isn’t beaten by the time the transfer window shuts at the start of September, it won’t be for the want of trying.
With the best part of three weeks left for the top flight’s 20 to blow wads of cash, last summer’s record combined spend of £870m looks under serious threat considering another £100m would see a new high watermark in 2016.
Today’s BBC Gossip Column brings news of Arsenal’s £60m striker hunt, Yannick Bolasie to Everton for £25m and Leicester targeting £17m Brazilian teenager Gabriel Barbosa, plus plenty more, so the smart money says the combined figure will surpass last year’s sooner rather than later.
As for City’s individual record, the two-time Premier League champions are on the verge of supplanting themselves, after centre-half John Stones’ £47.5m move from Everton brought the club’s transfer tally since Pep Guardiola took over as manager up to £152m.
Eight signings have been made so far, with Gabriel Jesus, Marlos Moreno and Aaron Mooy sent out on loan, meaning forwards Leroy Sane and Nolito plus midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko join Stones as newboys in Guardiola’s first-team squad.
When the dust settles on the England defender’s switch, the Etihad money men will surely re-enter the market, with the Citizens still looking short in a number of positions including all across defence and, to an extent, in goal.
One more signing, possibly Barcelona stopper Marc Andre Ter Stegen, could send City over the top once again, although bitter rivals Manchester United may yet usurp their noisy neighbours in the transfer stakes.
United aren’t far behind City’s spend this summer on around £145m thus far, with £89m alone splurged on buying back the new most expensive player in the world Paul Pogba from Juventus.
There are still pieces missing from new Old Trafford chief Jose Mourinho’s first XI, never mind his squad, with right-winger Antonio Valencia featuring in defence during the 2-1 Community Shield win over champions Leicester at Wembley, where 35-year-old Michael Carrick anchored midfield.
Mourinho is also thought to covet another new centre-half, and considering young Ivorian Eric Bailly set United back £30m in the same position, they’ll be lucky to snatch any bargains.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.