Manchester derby turns most expensive battle of the millionaires

​As if there weren’t enough plot-lines in tomorrow’s Manchester derby, it would appear there is now a brand-new one.

That’s right, to go along with the fact it is Manchester United v Manchester City and the return of Jose Mourinho v Pep Guardiola – a famously ferocious rivalry – Saturday’s showdown is also set to be the most expensive football match in history.

Last season’s ‘El Cashico’ between Real Madrid and Barcelona tipped the scales at a whopping £562million – based on players’ previous transfer fees.

With players such as Gareth Bale, the former world record transfer at £86m, Cristiano Ronaldo (£80m) and Luis Suarez (£75m) on display in that one, it’s easy to think that would have remained the most expensive game ever.

However, taking a look at the 22 players set to suit up for the Manchester derby according to Sky, it blows the La Liga showdown out of the water at a whopping £685.7m.

That is an outrageous £123.7m bump on last November’s El Clasico – won 4-0 by Barcelona thanks to a Suarez brace to go with one apiece for Neymar and Andres Iniesta.

Of course that figure is influenced heavily by Paul Pogba’s record-breaking £109m move back to Man United from Juventus – with £20m going straight into agent Mino Raiola’s pocket.

Fellow summer signing Eric Bailly brings £30m to the party, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s inclusion is a freebie based on his most recent transfer.

In the blue corner, John Stones’ outrageous £47.5m move from Everton, along with £37m-man Leroy Sane boosts City’s total.

But it’s not just this summer adding to the noise, with previous years’ big-money buys such as Kevin De Bruyne (£54m), Raheem Sterling (£49m) and even players like Juan Mata (£37.1m), Wayne Rooney (£27m) and Fernandinho (£30m) boosting the total.

Where the main discrepancy appears to lie is in the use of youth systems.


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