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Alexis Sanchez (left): The Chilean is expected to have a good season at Manchester United
Alexis Sanchez (left): The Chilean is expected to have a good season at Manchester United

Manchester United must put a disappointing summer behind them and aim for the Premier League title, according to club legend Gary Neville.

Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils, now 11/1 with Sky Bet to win the league, failed to secure a centre-back before Thursday’s transfer deadline, missing out on the likes Diego Godin, Harry Maguire and Yerry Mina.

Three-time Premier League winner Mourinho spent his summer complaining about a number of topics, from pre-season frustrations to the club’s failure to secure his transfer targets.

They did sign highly-rated Brazilian midfielder Fred from Shakhtar Dontesk, as well as right-back Diogo Dalot from Porto and goalkeeper Lee Grant from Stoke.

They were runners-up last season and Sky Sports pundit Neville says their minimum aim should be to go one better in the Portuguese’s third season at the club.

“The problem with United over the summer is that he [Mourinho] has been so public,” the former United and England defender told Super 6 in a special Facebook Live.

“On tour, not having any players there to start with and not getting the signings he has wanted. It has been messy. Something has gone amiss between the board and Jose in their alignment over who should be brought in, when they should be brought in.


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“What I will say is over the last 12 months Man United have needed a dominant centre-back pairing.

“Whether Jose says he has got one there that can be one of those pair or whether he needs two, I don’t know. What has been obvious is that United have needed to strengthen their defence, not just centre-back but full-back areas as well.

“The job Jose has got to do is build a back four and a protection unit in front of them that can get through this season and still win the Premier League – that has to be the ambition.

“Throughout all this noise over the last few weeks we should not come away from that – the ambition should still be to win the league. Not signing a centre-back doesn’t let anybody off the hook.”

Soccer Saturday Super 6: Our team have their expert tips for Saturday's games

Jose Mourinho: The Manchester United boss has had a frustrating summer
Jose Mourinho: The Manchester United boss has had a frustrating summer

Away from the defence, Neville was quick to look at the positives within the current squad – they managed to keep Paul Pogba despite interest from Barcelona, David De Gea stayed put despite being linked with Real Madrid for a number of years and they still have Alexis Sanchez, who is yet to hit top form since arriving from Arsenal in January.

“[They have] De Gea in net who is outstanding. If you say you were starting a Premier League match with a midfield of Pogba and Fred sat in front of Matic you would not be disappointed, you would think that three should be able to dominate a football match.

“Up front there’s riches – Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Sanchez, Lingard, Mata, we’ve got everything in that front six. They should score 100 goals between them, there is that much talent there – speed, strength, power, guile with Mata and Sanchez, tenacity with Sanchez."

Neville was asked for his prediction for the top four, with him admitting any one of Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea could get the final Champions League spot.

He said Man City, Man United, Liverpool and Spurs – which you can back with Sky Bet in that exact order at 33/1.

There are four Premier League games and two Sky Bet Championship offerings in this week's Super 6 round for you to try and win Jeff's £1 million - click here to enter now.

Odds correct as of 1630 BST on 10/08/18

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Most Read Football

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package1

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's 3pm kick-offs in the Premier League with the best bets, Super 6 predictions and top stats for each game.

Get all the football gossip from the National Papers2

Paper Talk: Poch this space

Real Madrid are ready to make their move for Mauricio Pochettino, whole Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba could also be nearing the exit door.

Jose Mourinho on the bench with his coaching staff3

Jose: We can blame ourselves

Jose Mourinho was not surprised by the way his players blew their chance to impress and secure Manchester United top spot in their Champions League group.

Who will be crowned Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday?4

Listen: SPOTY preview podcast

Ben Coley, Chris Hammer and Dom Newton-Collinge preview Sunday's BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in our latest podcast.

UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid will be hoping to win the trophy for a fourth successive year5

UCL knockout draw details

When is it? Who could Liverpool, Manchester United, Man City and Spurs face? All you need to know here...

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