Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has said he would expect strong competition from Chelsea next season if the Blues appointed Jose Mourinho as manager.

The 71-year-old United boss is eyeing another three Premier League titles, but thinks the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea will be stronger next year. Both sides have been left in United’s wake this term, as Ferguson guides his club towards a 13th Premier League title.

And Ferguson believes he’s got the pieces in place to dominate the league for the next few years, although he admits a Chelsea team led by Jose Mourinho would be an imposing prospect.

“We’ve got some improving players,” Ferguson said in the Daily Telegraph. “ The likes of Shinji Kagawa will be much better next year, and we’ve got Rafael, David De Gea, Alexander Buttner and Phil Jones, who can do anything he wants to do.

“So it’s looking good. Whether we can go on another run of three titles in a row, who’s to say? But the material’s there, it’s a hard league to win, as we all know.

“If Jose [Mourinho] goes back to Chelsea as they’re talking about, you’d be expecting a big challenge there. City have enough money to go and buy another couple of £200,000-a-week players. They’re not going to go away, are they? With the money they’ve got.”

Manchester United face City in the Premier League on Monday, hoping to extend their lead over last year’s winners to a massive 18 points.

Chelsea, on the other hand, face Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. The match will be new Sunderland boss Paulo Di Canio’s first match in charge of the Black Cats since he replaced Martin O'Neil in the hot-seat.

The Blues will be looking to jump straight back into the top four, after Arsenal's victory over West Brom on Saturday helped Arsene Wenger's side to leapfrog the Blues into fourth spot.


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