MANCHESTER UNITED have outspent their city neighbours over the last few years and Pep Guardiola is keen to point out that fact.
The Manchester City boss could not resist aiming a cheeky dig at the Red Devils following their Carabao Cup success.
United beat Newcastle at Wembley to win their first trophy since 2017, and Guardiola said it was only a matter of time until they began to compete again given their transfer spend.
Since Guardiola took charge in 2016 United have spent £1.077billion – a fraction more than City who've splashed £1.074bn.
But City's net spend is significantly smaller at £478million thanks to major sales such as Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko last summer.
United's net spend over the last seven years is an astronomical £835m, showing they have chucked more money at their effort to win silverware.
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Guardiola is well aware of the disparity between the two clubs in regard to net spend, so pointed it out after United's Wembley triumph on Sunday.
He said: “Congratulations to United for the Carabao Cup. Sooner or later it should happen, shouldn’t it? Welcome.
“United have to be there. They’re in the position they normally should be.
“The reality is that two teams, Liverpool and ourselves, have done incredibly well with the numbers. Now it’s closer."
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Asked if United are now back as a major rival, Guardiola said with a smile: “Maybe. If they spend a little more money, yes?
"Because they didn’t spend, did they?
“When I landed here I thought United would always be there, for the history, for everything, and Erik ten Hag is doing an incredible job.
“And the players . . . you see how committed they are, how all together they try to do it after they have been five or six years without winning one title.”
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