Gary Neville has hit back against claims that Manchester United are the “money” club in football currently.
A number of high-profile journalists and former-footballers have criticised the Reds for their spending, while being effusive in their praise of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, despite the Spaniard spending more than Jose Mourinho.
That’s at the same time as Guardiola inheriting a more stable, balanced squad with far higher quality than that Mourinho did.
Replying to Sky’s Guillem Balague and the Manchester Evening News’ James Robson, Neville tweeted: “We are trying to re-write recent history here . City paid 130m for 3 full backs ! United wouldn’t pay for perisic !! Let’s calm down … city have spent the most money in last 18 months! City are a wonderful team this year and playing great football but let’s not get lost!”
Neville’s best point, and most original, is that United pulled out of a move for Inter Milan forward Ivan Perisic last summer because the price was too high. The Reds were prepared to pay around £35m for the Croatian, but refused to meet Inter’s demands of a fee of around £45m.
James Robson had claimed on Twitter that “Manchester United have proved under Woodward they will pay (almost) whatever is necessary.”
Neille rightly called out Robson, as he did with Balague, who was also commenting on United’s links with Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.
The 29-year-old has been strongly rumoured to be joining Manchester City since the summer, with his contract expiring in the summer. In recent days, United have been heavily linked with a move for the Chilean.
Balague suggested that Alexis’ choice was between Pep Guardiola and money. Neville described that as disrespectful to both Man City and United.
“It’s disrespectful to City and United to be referred to as Pep ( City ) or Money ( United ),” Neville wrote.
The former-United captain is correct Firstly, United are far more than money. The unmatched history, fanbase, aura and potential to win trophies at the club is unique. Meanwhile, City shouldn’t be reduced to simply Pep Guardiola.
They have won two Premier League titles without him, and a couple of FA Cups while reaching a UEFA Champions League semi-final.