SIR Alex Ferguson says his current Manchester United team can dominate the Premier League for years, but believes Chelsea will pose a serious threat next season if they appoint Jose Mourinho as manager.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s game against Manchester City, when victory would take United 18 points clear with seven games to go, Ferguson said he expected Manchester United to mature and improve next season. But the 71 year-old predicted strong competition from Chelsea, should they appoint Mourinho for a second time, and Manchester City, because of their financial power.
“The record over the last 20 years tells you we’re not going away,” said Ferguson. “[Next year] we’ll have players who are maturing nicely. There are maybe 14 players who are aged 23 or under who could play together for another seven or eight years.
“We’ve got some improving players. 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 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.
"I think Arsenal will improve – there’s some indication that Arsenal are building a better squad than people think – and Tottenham have been progressing for a couple of years now. I don’t agree that retaining the title is harder than winning it, because for City to win their first title in such a long time was a big achievement for them.”Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admitted his team must spend heavily in the transfer market to have any chance of challenging United.
“We need to improve our team every year, and in the summer we need to buy the players who can make the difference, important players that can improve our team,” he said.
“United don’t need to spend £100million every year. United are a top team, they just need to buy one top player every year because they are strong.
“For us it is different, we need to do it this way, and maybe in the next three or four years we need only buy one player in the summer because we have a strong team.”
Mancini said he would concede the title if his team are beaten tomorrow.
Chris Bascombe, Telegraph.co.uk