Gary Neville believes Manchester United are three signings away from being able to challenge at the top of the table.
The Red Devils currently sit in third place in the Premier League, one point off of Arsenal in second. However Chelsea are well clear at the top, eight points clear of Louis van Gaal's team with a game in hand.
The likes of Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo arrived at Old Trafford last summer as part of a £150 million spending spree and it looks as though they will do the same again this time round, with Paul Pogba, Nathaniel Clyne and Mats Hummels all linked with a move in the upcoming window.
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Neville concedes that at the start of the season he felt that Chelsea were streets ahead of Manchester United, but believes now they have just three positions to fill in order to be contenders at the top once more.
“Two or three months ago, they would have been thinking Chelsea are a long way in front of us," Neville said at the launch of the Budweiser Dream Goal competition. “Now, it’s not as far. Now the recruitment battle that will happen in the summer becomes critical. If they get that right, United will feel confident they can challenge Chelsea for the title next season.
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"I don’t think this summer is a case of United rebuilding or total restructure of the squad. They need to continue to improve in two or three positions: a central defender, a midfielder and a winger. It is a case of trading well, rather than wholesale buying. I don’t expect another £150million spend. I don’t think it is required.”
Under Van Gaal, Manchester United started the season slowly but have picked up key wins against Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City recently to consolidate their position in the top four and all but guarantee the return of Champions League football to Old Trafford.
The games don't get any easier with the Red Devils paying a visit to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea this weekend. Blues boss Jose Mourinho worked under Van Gaal during his time in charge at Barcelona, and Neville believes the two will meet as equals on Saturday.
The former Manchester United defender explained: “It should be interesting, manager versus manager. How Mourinho will stop what Manchester United have done in the last few weeks to other teams? He doesn’t mind defending to win - whereas other coaches would go punch for punch, he’s happy to respect and pay attention.
“Van Gaal will say, ‘This is what we do, we will stay with our game and we will win our way’. Mourinho is more pragmatic, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.”
It seems a little to soon in Manchester United's resurgence to claim they could be title contenders with a few extra players. Last season Mourinho fell just short and went away and tinkered with his squad and is now reaping the rewards, but Chelsea were ahead of Manchester United at the same stage last season.
Manchester United have been in fine form recently and have shown glimpses of their potential, but it is too soon to say that can challenge for the title next season.