Thursday 22 August 2019

Gary Neville believes Man United's Champions League absence will be costly on two levels

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Ander Herrera after the match
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with Ander Herrera after the match
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Gary Neville believes failure to secure a top four finish in the Premier League will cost Manchester United more than just Champions League football next season.

United legend Neville believes Sunday's 1-1 draw against Chelsea has all-but ended his old club's hopes of a top four finish, coming on the back of defeats against Everton and Manchester City.

Now he suggests manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club's owners face a double financial hit as they attempt to rebuild a squad that has failed to deliver on its promise.

"I think when players are choosing their clubs they obviously want the team to be competitive, wanting to win trophies and to be in the Champions League," Neville told Sky Sports.

"For Ole Gunnar Solskjaer it will be a really big ask from where they are now to winning the Premier League. So if you were choosing between two clubs on a like for like salary basis you might choose other clubs.

"What I think will happen is United are a rich club and have a huge amount of revenue and it will just cost them more. They will get players as it is still a huge attraction for players to come and play for a huge club, an amazing club, and it just means it will cost them more to get the players they want.

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"That's where you don't want to be; you want to be in control. For 20 years this club had this perfect situation where they were strong enough to lose players knowing they wouldn't upset the rest of the squad and cause disruption, but they are not in that position anymore."

While Neville painted a pessimistic view of United's current position, he offered a more upbeat assessment of their hopes of attracting top talent this summer as he suggest the club still had a big pulling power.

"The very best players would choose a Champions League team, but the group behind that would still come to United," he added.

"If I was a big player today and the manager sat down in front of me and sold it to me as 'you come here, we will get him, and him, and we've already got him, then you might think it's a year not being in the Champions League but with me and the others we will be in it the following year.

"This is a hard club to turn down. It's one of the biggest clubs in the world."

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