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Man United could force City into breaking their transfer record

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Less than a week into the summer transfer window and the same old names are already dominating the headlines once again.

Manchester United eyes will be rolling having been linked with the unlikely arrivals of both Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Antoine Griezmann, while Manchester City have been touted to build upon their early business with the addition of Sergi Roberto. It seems only a matter of time before Nico Gaitan and Isco enter the gossip columns again respectively.

Early transfer business at the Etihad Stadium has only further amplified the pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward with many United fans eager to see their side complete deals as quickly as City have done.

That was never going to be the case for United at least, with each addition under Solskjaer coming with the caveat of a long drawn-out transfer affair. This summer Woodward will look to accelerate plans where possible, but in such a testing transfer market there is a desire to negotiate the lowest base fee possible, before adding performance-related bonuses where applicable.

United's planned arrival of Jadon Sancho will work wonders to appease any growing fan frustrations, but in turn it will help to fund Pep Guardiola's own summer rebuild with City owed 15 percent of any transfer deal over £8 million. That in itself is another reason for United to engage in lengthy negotiations and drive the base-fee down as low as possible.

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As a result it means United are looking less likely to break their own club transfer-record this summer with the arrival of Sancho, but by funding City they could force their fierce rivals into doing just that.

Guardiola's side set their club-record fee at £62.8m when they moved to sign Rodri from Atletico Madrid last summer, and the club pride themselves on never having spent a huge market-defining amount on one marquee signing to the degree which other clubs have.

However, that looks like it will need to change this summer if they want to reinforce their defence and recruit Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly to join Nathan Ake in their new-look backline. Solskjaer and Guardiola are both huge admirers of the Senegalese central defender, and Napoli are well aware of that as they look to cash-in this summer.

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Having reportedly splashed over €80m on signing Victor Osimhen this week the Italian club will need to raise funds somewhere and their defender represents the prize asset during the current window.

However, he won't come cheap and Napoli will be looking for £80m to sell their star defender this summer following the benchmark which United set with the acquisition of Harry Maguire a year ago. Following the world record fee for a defender Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis claimed Koulibaly was worth triple the fee United had paid to sign Maguire, but this summer he knows such a sales tactic simply won't work.

Napoli may not get the auction they dreamt of for Koulibaly this summer, but following the business United did a year ago it certainly looks like a club-record fee will be needed from City if they are to get their man.




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