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highest spending managers

The five highest spending managers in football history

The world of football finances seems to be on a never ending upward trajectory, with transfer records broken with regularity in recent transfer windows.

Leading managers are now backed with vast budgets to strengthen their expensively assembled squads, so much so that we have seen the first managers to reach £1 billion in combined transfer fees.

That figure is likely to become the norm as fees continue to spiral, but which managers have spent the most over the course of their careers?

The five highest spending managers in football history:

Massimiliano Allegri – £914m

The former Juventus manager is currently without a club after leaving the Turin side this summer, the Italian having spent £914m on 87 players throughout his career.

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Allegri won five successive Serie A titles with Juventus, his success helped by significant investment in the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain.

Ronaldo’s £105m arrival from Real Madrid is the most expensive purchase of Allegri’s career, the 52-year-old rapidly closing in on over a billion pounds worth of transfer expenditure.

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Manuel Pellegrini – £949.14m

The West Ham manager’s total of £949.14m is largely down to the Chilean’s spells at free-spending Real Madrid and Manchester City, Pellegrini having amassed his total during spells at nine different clubs.

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In charge at the Bernabeu during the second ‘Galacticos’ era, Pellegrini oversaw the 2009 summer of investment that brought Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Karim Benzema to Spain in an outlay of nearly £200m.

Whilst at City, Pellegrini secured a £55m deal for Kevin De Bruyne, while he has also been backed since arriving at the London Stadium in 2018, breaking West Ham’s transfer-record three times.

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Pep Guardiola – £1.03bn

One of three managers to have broken the billion mark, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was the first to reach the figure, having invested heavily in turning Manchester City into English football’s dominant force.

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The Spaniard has broken City’s transfer-record in signing the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Rodri, whilst he invested an estimated £275m on the likes of Emerson, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker in the 2017/18 season.

Despite the majority of his most expensive buys coming during his time at the Etihad, Guardiola’s most costly purchase remains Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move from Inter Milan to Barcelona in 2009.

Remarkably, despite dominating German football, none of Guardiola’s ten most expensive signings came during his three-year spell with Bayern Munich.

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Carlo Ancelotti – £1.11bn

Ancelotti’s career has seen him take charge of club’s such as AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, his lengthy career at several of Europe’s elite contributing to the second highest spend of any manager.

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The Italian’s most expensive acquisitions include the then world-record move to take Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid, whilst he also broke the British transfer-record back in 2011 to sign Fernando Torres for Chelsea.

Ancelotti’s total has been spent on 85 different players, the Napoli manager’s most recent high-profile addition the signing of Greek defender Kostas Manolas from Roma this summer.

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Jose Mourinho – £1.4bn

The highest spending manager in football history, Jose Mourinho has been heavily backed throughout his career during spells at the likes of Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United.

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Mourinho’s arrival in the Premier League kick-started the Roman Abramovich-era at Chelsea, the Russian billionaire’s backing catapulting the club into Europe’s elite.

The likes of Andriy Shevchenko and Didier Drogba arrived for big-money fees, whilst Mourinho also broke the world transfer-record to sign Paul Pogba at Manchester United.

Mourinho’s lavish spending has brought silverware wherever he has been, though the majority of his most expensive recruits were from his disappointing spell at Old Trafford.

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