Manchester City plans to expand its 48,000-seat stadium to be at least as big as Manchester United’s as part of a redevelopment of the area by the club’s owners

A source close to the plans said the club’s owner, the Abu Dhabi United Group, was looking to increase the capacity of the City of Manchester stadium by 30,000 seats as part of the club’s plan to become a world-leader. The capacity at Old Trafford, Manchester United’s ground, is 75,983.

The club is talking to Arup, which designed the stadium for the Commonwealth Games in 2002, about how it might achieve this. The plans are thought to include a new tier on top of the existing stadium.

The news comes as Manchester City’s owner signed a three-way deal with the city council and regeneration company New East Manchester last week to pave the way for the redevelopment of 200 acres of the stadium and surrounding land owned by both the club and the council.

The source said that stadium expansion was being used to lure high-profile players to the club. The source said: “I know presentations on the development were shown to Kaka, for example, when Man City were courting him.”