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Guardiola, Mourinho spend heavily to dethrone Chelsea

crictoday 2017-08-10 17:02:03

The way Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have been spending, the Premier League trophy should be returning to Manchester in May.

In an off-season that has seen more than 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) invested in players, Manchester rivals City and United have accounted for more than a third of that spending.

It was the inevitable reaction to feeble title challenges that saw Guardiola's City finish 15 points behind the victorious Chelsea side in third place and Mourinho'sUnited drift over the line nine points further adrift.

For a serial collector of trophies at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, finishing his first season in English football without a single title was an unusual feeling for Guardiola.

If the overhaul of the squad, costing more than 200 million pounds, doesn't deliver silverware there will be further uncomfortable questions for the Spaniard.

Guardiola has started rebuilding from the back by recruiting fullbacks Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker for around 50 million pounds apiece.

In search of goals, Manchester United turned to last season's second-highest scorer. Striker RomeluLukaku cost at least 75 million pounds, while Mourinho offloaded captain Wayne Rooney in the opposite direction to Everton.

Chelsea had wanted to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge, a transfer thwarted by Mourinho. Despite finishing sixth in the league, the Portuguese coach completed his first season at United with two trophies. While the League Cup is little regarded, the Europa League provided a ticket into the Champions League — and probably the signature of Lukaku.