Gary Neville predicts where Man United will finish after Cristiano Ronaldo signing
Gary Neville rates Man United's Premier League title chances after their re-signing of Cristiano Ronaldo
Gary Neville still believes that Manchester United are set to finish in third place in the Premier League table this season – even after the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Red Devils announced a blockbuster deal to bring the 36-year-old attacker back to Old Trafford on Friday as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved quickly to add his former team-mate to his squad.
Ronaldo is returning to Old Trafford 12 years after having left Manchester United to sign for Real Madrid in a world-record transfer deal and he will be hoping to help fire them towards a title challenge this season.
Before the news of Ronaldo’s transfer was announced, Neville had tipped Manchester City to finish as champions ahead of Chelsea FC and Manchester United.
And although the ex-full-back believes that Ronaldo will enhance the Red Devils’ title chances, he still reckons that Manchester United will finish third in the table.
Speaking on Sky Sports on Saturday, Neville said: “I made the prediction that it would be Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United [in that order] and I’m not going to change that because of the signing of Ronaldo.
“I’m going to stick with that because I don’t think the Ronaldo signing makes them a better team than Chelsea, who were the Champions League winners last season, or Manchester City, who were 20 points clear.
“Absolutely it brings them closer to winning the title, it will absolutely get them closer. But do I think it will win them the title at this point? No I don’t. But now I’m more excited about Manchester United challenging for the title than I was maybe five or six days ago.
“I don’t think they will. I want them to. Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane will have the mentality to win United the title, there’s no doubt, but if I had to put my house on it now, do I think they’ll win the title this season? No. But I’m desperate for them to win the title. I’m just being pragmatic.
“I think there’s an element that you have to be in for these players if you’re Manchester United. Whether that wins you the title or not, I’m unsure. It gives them a far better chance than they had 48 hours ago.
“He isn’t coming for Champions League places. He’s coming for personal accolades and titles. There is no doubt about that. I hope that he can be the difference, because if he gets 10 per cent out of every other player there’s a big chance. There’s a big chance.
“But let’s be clear, Manchester City have been exceptional for the last three or four seasons. Chelsea just won the Champions League and now have a better team this season. So they’re also against the best two teams in Europe, three if you count Liverpool.
“The Premier League is at the highest standard it has been for a long, long time. It’s not an easy Premier League this one, it’s got back to the top level in Europe and I think Manchester United are up against really good sides.
“In years gone by I might have said this Man United team will win the title by 10 points, but it’s such a strong Premier League this one.”
Manchester United will host Newcastle United at Old Trafford after the international break on 11 September.