In many ways, this looks to be the summer in which the most monied clubs in the Premier League attempt to widen the gap between them and the rest of the so-called 'Big Six'.
Indeed, with the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea flexing their financial muscle in a post-pandemic market, even the mini-league at the top of the division looks to be heading for its own hierarchy.
Liverpool, of course, might have something to say about that but any improvement on last season will largely have to come from Jurgen Klopp's ability to coach his team to go again after so many years together rather than through the arrival of headline additions such as Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish or Romelu Lukaku.
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Clearly, there are question marks as to how healthy that is. If the teams at the top of the division are easily capable of breaking transfer records even after playing almost an entire season behind closed doors, what chance do those trying to catch them stand?
Still, as easy as it is to focus on incoming in both the North West and West London, it is actually Arsenal who are set to lead the way in terms of money spent this summer.
With both Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale said to be close to moving to the Emirates Stadium as part of Mikel Arteta's rebuild, their total spending will reportedly rise to a whopping £129m (via Sky Sports).
Having already signed Ben White for £50m, Albert Sambi Lokonga for around £15m and Nuno Tavares for just under £7m, the £30m and £24m of Odegaard and Ramsdale respectively would see Arsenal overtake United.
Despite the expenditure, however, there are question marks as to how much the new recruits actually improve the first-team. Aside from White and Odegaard (who played 20 times for the club last season) it's hard to see any of the additions slotting in as regular starters.
Of course, Lokonga, Ramsdale and Tavares may well be capable of proving such doubters wrong but, given how low the mood at Arsenal appears to be at the moment, it doesn't look like the easier of situations to be walking into.
The Premier League spending table (assuming Arsenal's double deal does go through) is as follows:
1. Arsenal - £129m
2. Manchester Utd - £114m
3. Manchester City - £100m
4. Chelsea - £97.5m
5. Aston Villa - £93m
6. Leicester City - £55m
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