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big move Gary Neville doubts Manchester United title hopes - unless they sign one star man


Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is expected to keep his side near the top this season. Credit: Reuters

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is expected to keep his side near the top this season. Credit: Reuters

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is expected to keep his side near the top this season. Credit: Reuters

Gary Neville has suggested Manchester United will not end the club's nine-year wait for a Premier League title, unless they pull off a stunning transfer in the next week that could propel them to glory.

Neville has urged his former club to make a dramatic late move to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane, as he suggested the England captain may be the player to turn a good United squad into a side capable of winning the title.

United have signed Jason Sancho and Raphael Varane this summer, but Neville told Sky Sports they need more to take on the three sides ahead of them in the betting to win the Premier League, champions Manchester City, reigning European champions Chelsea and 2020 English champions Liverpool.

"I am struggling to understand why Manchester United are not going that extra step in this transfer window," declared Neville.

"With regards to Manchester United, they have always gone after the best player in the Premier League, the best English or British player in the Premier League, historically.

"Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, you are talking about potentially offloading a lot of wages there, potentially getting some transfer fees in.

"Why are they not going for Harry Kane this week? Because I believe that if Harry Kane entered Manchester United you could get up to 90 to 95 points.

"Without him, they are still going to have to replace Edinson Cavani and Martial next summer. Martial is not going to do it, Cavani has only got one year left.

"They are going to have to get a centre-forward at some point, why not get the man now to give them that impetus to get towards that 95 points? Because I don't think they can just with Sancho and Varane.

"With the manager, I still think you could argue he has to prove himself quickly because I still think the Europa League final was a bad one. That is going to hang if something doesn't go right this season.

"But I believe Ole deserves another 12 to 18 months with building because Manchester United have tried the Jose Mourinho quickfire hit job and it has not worked. Louis van Gaal, going for a different style of play, it has not worked. It failed miserably.

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"So they have gone for someone who has taken it back to their roots. He has got to be given a chance to do it. Manchester United are going to need a new centre-forward in the next 12 months, the guy is available now if you pay £150m.

"I personally think that Kane coming in would be a differentiator."

Neville also looked at a comparison between Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Solskjaer in their opening 99 games in their current jobs, with Klopp taking his team to the next level as he moved past the 100 game mark.

"If you look at the first 99 games of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, which he has had now, and the first 99 games of Jurgen Klopp they are almost exact in terms of performance - 1.89 points per game for Jurgen Klopp and 1.86 points per game for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer," he added.

"Jurgen Klopp, fourth in points per game, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer third. Jurgen Klopp with a 54 per cent win percentage, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 53 per cent. Again, neck and neck.

"The outstanding thing, the ridiculous coaching performance of Jurgen Klopp, comes down to the fact that he did it with a £30m profit, a great recruitment performance from Liverpool and him, while Manchester United have spent £314m in Ole's time there.

"The big thing is what happens next. I am sure that Ole's backroom team and the board are looking at it and saying, 'He is building something, this is what Jurgen Klopp was doing at Liverpool in his first three seasons.'

"However, just look at the points that Jurgen Klopp gained from season three to season four.

"That was the point when Alisson came in, Virgil van Dijk came in, and they went into turbo boost and delivered one of the best performances that you will ever see.

"I know they were beaten by Manchester City that season but it was a staggering performance by Liverpool - 97 points and 99 points two seasons on the bounce.

"Manchester United with 74 points in the third season, Liverpool with 75. Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer get the 20 extra points to win the title?

"My gut feeling is Sancho and Varane won't have the same impact on Manchester United as Alisson and Van Dijk to get them up to that 90-95 points they will need to win the league. I think they will still be short.

"Chelsea, you see what they have done with Romelu Lukaku. You see that Van Dijk has come back for Liverpool. You can see that City have come in for Jack Grealish and Harry Kane. If they get Kane there is a massive problem for United."

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