Bengaluru, August 9: Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has finally issued his verdict on the upcoming Premier League season and his prediction does not sound good for United fans.
The former England international, who is now a pundit, said he fears his former team will not challenge for the Premier League title and suggested arch-rivals Manchester City and Liverpool could finish above United in the upcoming campaign.
Manchester City and Liverpool both splashed the cash to improve their squad and at this moment, the defending Premier League winners and last year's Champion League runners-up look more oiled than United, who finished second last term.
Manchester City look even stronger than last season following the arrival of club-record signing Riyad Mahrez while Liverpool have also splashed the cash, with Jurgen Klopp spending £175m this summer on key additions in the midfield and goalkeeping area.
United manager Jose Mourinho, on the other hand, has signed only three players and has consistently used his press conferences during the pre-season tour as a way to apply pressure on chief executive Ed Woodward to bring in more players.
But for the time being, it looks like United will have to makedo with what they have and Ferdinand, who has won six league titles with United, has now suggested the negative aura surrounding at the club could hinder their campaign in the Premier League.
“There seems to be a lot of negativity around United at the moment, and that doesn’t bode well (for the club and players),” Ferdinand told the Daily Mirror.
“The manager is obviously not happy about the signings he hasn’t been able to make and not having certain players available on their pre-season tour, which isn’t nice to hear if you are a young kid trying to make your mark on the fringes of the squad.
“He seems to have put a nail in that coffin with the way he has spoken.
And here we have a Manchester United legend and one of the best defenders ever saying the same thing we’ve been saying for months... almost like we’ve been making sense. Cheers @rioferdy5 pic.twitter.com/JhbWzSBl2S— Dictator. (@iamforbes) August 8, 2018
“And then there has been the saga of Anthony Martial going home from the tour in America and not coming back.
“In the meantime, Manchester City look stronger than ever and Liverpool have improved again.
“They have brought in a £60million goalkeeper, I think Naby Keita will make a great impact, we know of Xherdan Shaqiri’s quality, and they have added Fabinho to the mix as well.
“I’m a United fan, and I want to see them win the title, but I fear it’s going to be very difficult for that to happen this season.
“I can’t see past City and Liverpool as the top two - and to say that about the two clubs who wouldn’t be top of any United fan’s Christmas card list is horrendous.”
United will start their campaign against Leicester City on Saturday what will be the opening game of the new Premier League season at Old Trafford.