Gary Neville doesn’t expect Chelsea to retain their Premier League title this year, and instead believes that the trophy will be heading to his home city.
The Sky Sports pundit predicts that the race will be between former club Manchester United and rivals Manchester City at the end of the season, and that whichever of the two sides as the best summer in terms of recruitment will shade it.
Speaking to his employers ahead of the new season, Neville admitted that his prediction for last season didn’t quite pan out, but he has stuck to his guns and gone with the same outlook for the coming year.
“I said last season that the title would come to Manchester and I was wrong — but I think this year it will.
“I think Chelsea will dip a little bit. Not in a negative way, but just having the Champions League will bring different challenges. I think Tottenham will be strong, but I feel that either United or City will win it, but I’m not sure who.
“I say it every year, whoever recruits best wins the league. Chelsea getting N’Golo Kante was a masterstroke and Eden Hazard and Diego Costa came back to form. All the clubs are going for the same players, they’re all expensive and controlled by agents.
“So, whoever has the best relationship, the best contacts and is willing to put the money in will probably do it.”
United and City have already spent heavily in this transfer window, but one gets the feeling that they are nowhere near done yet. Jose Mourinho’s side have added Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukau to their ranks, while a move for Ivan Perisic is still in the offing. Pep Guardiola’s City, meanwhile, have already signed Ederson Moraes, Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker, while they continue to pursue Alexis Sanchez and Benjamin Mendy.
Both have already surged past the £100m mark as they look to improve on last season’s respective 3rd and 6th place finishing spots, and the chances of hitting £200m increase with every completed deal.