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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

United can challenge cross-city rivals City for Premier League title, says Rooney

Former captain Wayne Rooney feels Manchester United are on track to claim their first Premier League crown since 2012-13.

Premier League giants Manchester United
Premier League giants Manchester United

WAYNE ROONEY BELIEVES former club Manchester United can challenge Premier League champions and neighbours Manchester City this season.

Jose Mourinho’s United finished second and 19 points adrift as record-breaking City cruised to the title in 2017-18.

United have already bolstered their squad with the signings of Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant, and more arrivals are expected before the transfer window closes.

Former captain and all-time leading goalscorer Rooney – who left Everton for MLS outfit DC United last month – feels the Red Devils are on track to claim their first Premier League crown since 2012-13.

“Obviously they can challenge, it’s a massive club. Last year was different because of how well Manchester City did,” the 32-year-old told BBC Sport after making his DC United debut last week.

“In any other year, they might have won the title. A lot of people looked at what Manchester City did and said Manchester United didn’t play that well.

“But they actually had a good season. Obviously they didn’t win anything but I think they can take confidence from that and I believe they can push Manchester City next season.

“I saw that people said they weren’t playing the most attractive football. But they scored a lot of goals. I think they are getting there. Hopefully it won’t be long before they win the title again.”

Mourinho’s side are on their pre-season tour of the United States, where they will face Mexican giants America on Thursday.

United will also play San Jose Earthquakes (July 22) before meeting AC Milan (25 July), Liverpool (28 Jul) and Real Madrid (31 July) in the International Champions Cup, while the club will conclude their Premier League preparations against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena on 5 August.

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