Daley Blind has claimed that Manchester United's trip to Chelsea on Saturday will be a scene-setter for the title race next season, insisting that Louis van Gaal's team are ready for the challenge of becoming champions.
nited have overcome their slow start to the campaign by climbing to third in the Premier League following victories against Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City.
A win at Stamford Bridge would move United ahead of Arsenal into second spot, with the two clubs still to meet at Old Trafford next month in the penultimate game of the season.
Blind, a four-time title winner in Holland with Ajax, insisted that there was no doubt about United's ability to challenge for the title next season.
"I think Manchester United is always a club that is fighting for the title," said Blind.
"We have to watch ourselves this season, our own games, focus on that and then we will see where it ends. But we don't have to watch Chelsea. We have to watch for our own games. We have to look at ourselves because every game is a final and we have to believe in ourselves.
"We have improved a lot and are still improving and we really are one team."
United opened a four-point gap over City by defeating the champions at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are in advanced talks to sign exciting Brazilian youngster Nathan, who has arrived in London ahead of a medical.
The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the most exciting young players in Brazil. Nathan flew into London yesterday ahead of his medical after Atletico Paranaense granted him permission to travel.
The Brazilian club are hoping to receive an initial fee of around £4.5m for the playmaker, who has avoided signing a new contract. The fee is likely to rise on performance-related measures.
Nathan made his senior debut only last year and has not made a significant number of appearances, but he has been tracked by several leading European clubs. (© Daily Telegraph, London)