Manchester United rivals Manchester City are spending big again to strengthen their squad in defence, adding Josip Gvardiol.

Josip Gvardiol is set to complete a £77 million move to Manchester City, with BBC Sport reporting the Croatian will fly in to undergo a medical.

It is another instance of City continuing to spend big to attempt to extend their winning run, at a time when everybody else is hoping they would just fade into the distance.

According to The Times, Manchester United considered a move for Josip Gvardiol, placing him on a shortlist of options last summer, before opting to sign Lisandro Martinez instead.

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Lisandro Martinez deal has worked out very well

The MEN reported last year that Ralf Rangnick had recommended Gvardiol as a number one centre-back target for Unitd.

Whether for reason of price, or talent, or even availability, Manchester United eventually chose to sign Lisandro Martinez instead.

New manager Erik ten Hag knew Martinez already from his time at Ajax, and made a beeline to sign the Argentina international.

United paid substantially less to sign Martinez, a fee of £46 million which could rise with add-ons.

Josip Gvardiol is an outstanding defender, but there are absolutely no complaints with Martinez, nicknamed ‘The Butcher’, who has become a regular starter and fan favourite at Old Trafford.

Harry Maguire is still the world’s most expensive defender

Josip Gvardiol’s move to Manchester City will involve no add-ons, report BBC Sport.

This means the £77 million fee is fixed, and the Croatian comes in as the second most expensive centre-back of all time.

At number one sits Manchester United defender Harry Maguire, who made the switch from Leicester City to Old Trafford in 2019 at a cost of £80 million.

The test of time has not looked kindly at that fee, and United would have been better off spending £50 million on Ruben Dias, who signed for City a year later.

This time around it is United who have taken the more moderately costing option with Martinez. He already looks like a bargain. Time will tell if Gvardiol ends up looking as overpriced as Maguire.

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