Manchester United “will win again”, Gary Neville has predicted, but the Red Devils legend concedes that the Premier League title may not head back to Old Trafford until Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola leave Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.
Two highly-rated coaches have dominated the domestic scene over recent years. English top-flight crowns have been shared across Anfield and Etihad Stadium of late, with the record books being re-written by two star-studded squads and their bosses.
United, who once savoured such success under Sir Alex Ferguson, are among those to have been left behind. The last of their 13 titles was secured in 2013, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the latest manager to take on the challenge of trying to recapture former glories.
Neville believes the Red Devils will return to the summit, but appreciates that changes may need to take place elsewhere before the red half of Manchester gets to toast another triumph.
He told the Mirror: “The one thing I can guarantee you is that United will win again. That might not be this year or next year, but it will be amazing when they win again, and the longer it builds up, the greater the actual feeling is when you do it.
“I’m not sitting here, as a United fan, thinking, ‘We must win the league this year’. Yes, we’d like to, but you know when it’s your time and it’s not yet. It will be, maybe, when Klopp and Guardiola leave Liverpool and City – hopefully in the next couple of years!
“That will be the chance, as they’re two outstanding managers who have built really good teams, but they’ll leave in the next one, two or three years. That will be the point when United can come back in and capitalise – I’m sure Chelsea are thinking that way as well.”
Another United legend, Ryan Giggs, agrees with that assessment, with the Wales national team boss saying: “You’ve got the two best coaches in the world, at pretty settled sides, where they’re just adding players where they need to.
“Ole’s a bit further behind in that respect, but once that does happen, when Guardiola and Klopp leave, then be ready to strike, with a team that’s capable of winning the league.
“Even for the most realistic United fans, just getting closer to Liverpool and City would be the aim this year.
“How long has Ole been there now, almost two years? You look at Klopp at Liverpool, he improved every year. Then it was in his fifth year that he won the league.
“So you want to see improvement - that’s what United fans want, as well as exciting football, which we’ve seen at times - but just get closer and then have a real go at the Premier League.”
Neville doubts that United, who have made Donny van de Beek the only addition to their ranks in the current window, can force their way back into contention during the 2020-21 campaign.
He added: “It’s out of the question for me, if you ask me today, with the squads that they’ve got. If United were to sign two outstanding forwards, an amazing centre-back and a fantastic left-back in the next three weeks, then maybe.”