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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it might not be "realistic" to expect Manchester United to challenge for Premier League title next season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he does not know whether Manchester United will be ready to challenge for the Premier League title next season.

The 20-time English champions have not finished on top of the pile since Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.

Solskjaer's side currently occupy fifth place in the table, five points behind Chelsea (opens in new tab) in fourth and 27 adrift of table-topping Liverpool (opens in new tab).

That gap will increase to 30 points if Jurgen Klopp's men beat United (opens in new tab) at Anfield on Saturday.

And while Solskjaer hopes his team can make up ground next term, he has hinted that it could be too early for them to compete for the crown.

"That is the aim, of course," Solskjaer told reporters. "I’m not saying it is a realistic one. We are behind and a fair rate behind the top one now, who we play on Sunday and we’ll see where we are against them.

"But with a few signings, with the improvement these are making, in the next couple of years we want to do that.

"Supporters and the club alike are not happy with not challenging for the top position in the league. That is where we feel we should be and many of today’s supporters have lived that period where we won the league consistently.

"At the moment we don’t have that type of team. Because in time we've been a bit behind the top ones. It might be that we start with winning a cup and then these players will get that taste.

"That is not what we want to be. We want to be challenging for the league and the Champions League."

United host Wolves (opens in new tab) in an FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday, before Sunday's trip to Merseyside to face arch-rivals Liverpool.

Solskjaer's side are also in action next midweek, with Burnley (opens in new tab) set to provide the opposition at Old Trafford.


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Greg Lea
Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).