JAMIE CARRAGHER and Gary Neville marked the return of Monday Night Football with a row over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s spending at Manchester United.
The dynamic Sky Sports duo returned to screens for the first time this season ahead of West Ham’s 4-1 win over Leicester.
And what ensued was a hilarious clash over United’s spending record under boss Solskjaer, which saw Carragher declare that any one of Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola could win the title for the Red Devils.
That’s after Neville compared Solskjaer and Klopp’s first 99 games at their respective clubs, with both managers having a near-equal points record and win percentage.
But Solskjaer achieved his with a net spend of £341million, having spent £421m, while Liverpool chief Klopp had a profit of £30m after spending just £247m.
Neville started by questioning United’s business in the current window, with winger Jadon Sancho and defender Raphael Varane arriving for big fees.
He went on to claim United needed to make MORE signings in order to challenge for top spot.
Neville said: “I’m struggling to understand why United aren’t going that extra step in this transfer window.
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“Sancho was £70m but that was last year’s money. In regards to United, they’ve always gone after the best English or British player in the Premier League, historically.
“Why is Martial, James, Lingard, you’re talking about offloading wages there and potentially getting a transfer fee in.
“Why aren’t they going in for Harry Kane this week? I think if Kane went to United, they could get up to 90-95 points.
“They still need to replace Cavani and Martial next summer. Martial isn’t going to do it, Cavani only has one year left.
“They’re going to have buy a centre-forward at some point, why not get the man now and give Ole the impetus he needs to get that points total.
“I don’t think he can with just Sancho and Varane.”
But this saw Carragher respond by declaring Solskjaer HAS been backed in the window, and another manager would be winning the title with United’s current squad.
Carragher declared: “You’re talking about Chelsea going after Lukaku, he scored on his debut and all of a sudden it’s ‘Chelsea are going to win the league’.
“United finished above them last season, they bough Varane and Sancho, I don’t get this feeling of ‘United can’t compete’.
“If Guardiola, Klopp or even Tuchel had United’s squad, I feel they could win the league, I really believe that.
“United have spent the money City have done, spent the money Chelsea have done, so this thing of building, yes.
“But I don’t think United not winning the league this year. Finishing third or fourth, that can’t be acceptable.”
Neville shot down talk of a new manager though, insisting: “They’ve tried the world-class manager route and it hasn’t worked. I’m not saying it won’t work if they tried another one.”
But Carragher continued: “My point is with the squad that is there, you never want to say United could win the league but that squad there is £50m-plus in almost every position.
“What’s lacking at United to really for the league? Is it the team, the squad or the manager?”
Neville responded: “I think with the manager, you can argue that he has to prove himself quickly.
“They’re going for someone who is taking it back to their roots, he needs to be given a chance to do it.”
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Carragher then noted: “What is success this season for United?”
To which Neville gave the final answer: “They have to challenge for the title, but I genuinely think that if City get Kane, what Chelsea have done with Lukaku, Van Dijk returning for Liverpool, they need that something different.
“You took the mickey out of me a couple of weeks ago when I said United can improve this season and go from second to fourth because other teams have gone up. Why are you laughing at me?”
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