Difficult for Manchester United to catch 'almost perfect' City, says Wayne Rooney
Last Updated: 06/02/18 6:10am
Wayne Rooney thinks it will be difficult for Manchester United to catch Manchester City next season, with the former England striker saying Pep Guardiola's side are close to playing perfect football.
City are on course to win the Premier League this season with Guardiola's side 13 points ahead of their rivals at the top of the table with 12 games remaining.
Jose Mourinho has admitted City are uncatchable in the race for the title this season, but will hope the addition of Alexis Sanchez, who was also targeted by the league leaders in January, can help them bridge the gap to their city rivals next season.
However, Rooney, speaking on Monday Night Football, thinks City, who are still on course to win an unprecedented quadruple, will be difficult to overhaul next season with their football under Guardiola close to emulating Barcelona.
"In terms of catching Manchester City, they certainly won't this season, but, if I am being perfectly honest, it will be difficult to catch them next season," Rooney said.
"City are getting to the level Barcelona were at four or five years ago. It is not nice for me to say, but it is almost perfect football at times.
"Guardiola is putting the foundations in place to try to emulate that Barcelona team, and they are well on their way to do that. Another one or two players coming in this summer, and I don't think they are that far away."
Despite conceding United will find it difficult to compete with City, Rooney, who left Old Trafford in the summer to join Everton, praised his former club's acquisition of Sanchez.
The Chile international moved to Old Trafford in January in a swap deal which involved Henrick Mkhitaryan moving to Arsenal and Rooney thinks Sanchez, who scored his first goal for the club against Huddersfield at the weekend, will lift the players around him.
"I really think he is the perfect player for Manchester United," Rooney told MNF.
"He has got aggression, passion, desire. And you can see he is a winner.
"That is what Manchester United have really lacked - players around Lukaku who can really push Lukaku on.
"Sanchez will do that. Like Tevez when he joined United - he lifted players around him, getting that extra five, 10 per cent."