Manchester United could find it hard to catch Manchester City next season if they miss out on landing two of their top transfer targets.
That’s the view of former Red Devils ace Luke Chadwick, who has warned his old club that the recent official confirmation of the Emi Buendia to Aston Villa deal could perhaps signal that Jack Grealish is on his way to City.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Chadwick discussed the state of next season’s title race after Man Utd came the closest to challenging City in 2020/21, while Chelsea won the Champions League to make up for their more inconsistent domestic campaign.
Chadwick thinks this summer’s transfer market will be crucial in determining which of those two clubs can come closest to City next season, but he admits he’s worried about the prospect of Pep Guardiola’s side landing both Grealish and Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
Stretty News have been among the outlets to report on United’s interest in Grealish, while the Mail have linked MUFC with Kane, even if they suggest Jadon Sancho is more of a priority over the Spurs star.
“A lot of it depends on the recruitment this summer. Both teams will be confident, obviously Chelsea more so after winning the biggest trophy in club football, whereas United will be disappointed to lose the Europa League final,” Chadwick said.
“Tuchel’s come in and done a fantastic job tactically, particularly against Pep Guardiola, showing he perhaps has the upper-hand over him. I think United and Chelsea will be the closest to City next season, maybe Liverpool too, but I’d like to think United have it in them to do better than Chelsea next season and get close to City, maybe even finish above them.
“But a lot of that depends on the recruitment in the summer months. Seeing Aston Villa sign Emi Buendia, it makes you wonder if that means Grealish could be off to City. If they signed him and Kane then they’ll be incredibly hard to catch next season.”
Chadwick was, however, optimistic about Mason Greenwood eventually turning into a 25-30 goal-a-season player, even if next season is likely to be a bit early for him.
“Towards the end of the season he (Greenwood) was in fantastic form, certainly the best he’d played all season,” Chadwick said.
“He looked to be going to the Euros in fine form. He’s one of the most natural goal-scorers in the squad other than Harry Kane and could’ve given them something different off the bench.
“But it gives him the opportunity to start next season 100% right. I hope he can kick on again, he’s going to be a hugely important player to Manchester United.
“I’m sure they’ll be desperate to sign a Kane or a Haaland if they become available, but Greenwood has shown he’s learning from Edinson Cavani and they’ll have every confidence he can be a major goal-scorer for Man United.
“I think in terms of scoring 25-30 a season, it’s probably coming a bit early for him, but I think another season of working with the likes of Cavani, he can really come to the fore and show what a wonderful talent that he is.”