Manchester City aren't afraid of spending money in the transfer window.
Although plenty of credit is due for Pep Guardiola's coaching at the club, there can be no denying that heavy investment has been a driving force behind their recent domestic success.
The Citizens have spent over £50 million - breaking records along the way - for the likes of Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Riyah Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte.
As a result, Guardiola has been given the tools to secure two League Cup victories, one Premier League title and there's potential for another slew of trophies before the end of the season.
However, City haven't only been spending on established stars but they have shown a keen eye for the future with their investment in the club's academy.
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Man City's academy spending
The most obvious example comes in the form of Phil Foden, who has benefitted from the brilliant facilities at the Etihad Stadium and the surrounding complex.
So, it was a fitting moment when he scored the winning goal against Tottenham - his first in the Premier League - to maintain their one-point lead over Liverpool.
This season aside, though, and it seems City are ready to make their latest move in the world of academy football and it could be their biggest yet.
City want the 'new Messi'
That's because they're eyeing a move for Thiago Almada, who has been nicknamed the 'new Lionel Messi' and is stirring up some serious excitement in Argentina.
According to The Sun, the Citizens are willing to shell out a remarkable £20 million to secure the youngster and even have a contingency plan if FIFA dish out a transfer ban.
City are so desperate to secure Almada's services, that they could transfer him to Spanish partner club Girona, before resolving their own problems with football's governing body.
'Spies' at the club have made Almada, who turns 18 next week, a priority in the summer and believe paying such a mammoth fee will ease the process of getting a work permit.
The Sun notes that: "Almada is rated the best young talent in his homeland and his explosive and clever skills have marked him out as the latest to be compared to Barcelona great Messi.
"Experts reckon he could be the real deal and more likely than any other player to become a world force like his fellow countryman."
It sounds for all intents and purposes that Almada would be the perfect player for City, assuming he was given enough game-time to continue his progression in the professional ranks.
Although the handling of Foden has certainly drawn criticism this season, recent games suggest the Englishman has been managed perfectly and hopefully that trend continues.
Besides, you can't spend £20 million on a 17-year-old and not give him a fair crack of the whip.
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