Merson rules out ‘impossible’ target for ‘Conference’ side Man Utd next season

Paul Merson says it’s “absolutely impossible” for Manchester United to be challenging for the Premier League title next season.

United are currently 22 points behind league leaders Manchester City and face a huge fight to qualify for the Champions League next season.

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Ralf Rangnick’s side are one point behind Arsenal in the crucial fourth spot having played three more games than the Gunners.

The Red Devils opted against hiring a new permanent manager following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of last year, instead appointing Rangnick on an interim basis, with the German set to move into a consultancy role next season.

And Merson claims United have no chance of catching City or Liverpool next season, as they are “a million miles off” as it stands and any new manager will need a bedding in period at Old Trafford.

Merson told Sky Sports: “Manchester United are a million miles off. The club are the same on the pitch as they are off it – a bit of a shambles.

“An interim manager is in place, and then they are going to look for someone permanent in the summer, which will give whoever they appoint a month or two to get the team ready to try and challenge Manchester City and Liverpool again.

“It’s impossible, absolutely impossible.”

Merson also delivered a damning verdict of Manchester United’s display in their 4-1 derby defeat by Manchester City on Sunday, claiming they played like a Conference side.

Merson continued: “People are getting a bit carried away with how much of a shock it [Man City’s 4-1 win] was, I’d have been shocked if Manchester City hadn’t won by three goals.

“But there are ways to lose football matches, and at 3-1 Manchester United literally gave up. You might as well have just stopped the game there and then and let everyone go home.

“I’m not shocked. We’ve seen it before for United, they were just as bad in October at Old Trafford, City just didn’t score as many goals that day.

“No disrespect, but it looked as though a team from the Conference were playing Manchester City. The possession stats from the final 15 minutes, 92 per cent to City and eight per cent to United, were generous – I don’t remember United having that much of the ball!”

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