Former Manchester City star Michael Ball insists that critics of the club’s spending are merely “jealous”.
He made his Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, but was on the losing side, as a Son Heung-Min goal gave Spurs a surprise 1-0 win.
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It was all the more surprising because of the absence of Harry Kane from the matchday squad amid reports of interest from City in securing his signature.
Any deal would top the fee paid for Grealish, with Spurs said to be demanding around £160m to allow the England captain to leave the club.
Ball believes that City have the money to spend and insists that any critics are green with envy at their financial power.
Speaking exclusively to This Is Futbol, Ball said: “Everyone else seems to be a little jealous.
“If you give that football club or their football club four or five hundred million pounds and they want to bring them players in, I’m sure they won’t complain either.
“If they can do it, fantastic, and for everybody else who can’t do it, I think it just shows a little bit of jealousy, a bit of bitterness really.”