Paul Scholes says Man Utd will struggle to compete with Man City and Liverpool for Premier League

The former Man Utd midfielder says Jose Mourinho could leave if club fall short with title challenge

Jose Mourinho 1:07
Paul Scholes says Jose Mourinho needs fast start to the season at Manchester United

Paul Scholes believes Manchester United lack the quality to compete for the Premier League, and says manager Jose Mourinho could possibly leave if the club fail to challenge for the title.

United finished 19 points behind champions Manchester City last season, and Mourinho predicts a "difficult" campaign ahead if he is unable to add to his squad before Deadline Day on Thursday.

With Liverpool investing heavily over the summer, and City laying down an early marker with a convincing Community Shield victory over Chelsea, Scholes fears United will not be able to sustain a title challenge.

New season offer!

New season offer!

Upgrade to Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football now for just £18 a month. Cancel any time.

"When you look at Manchester City, possibly Liverpool, I don't think they [United] have the quality of those two teams at the minute. Liverpool have made some really good signings. United finished above them last season," said Scholes, speaking in Hong Kong.

"I just don't see United getting closer to City. City are a really good side, great manager, some great players, a way of playing that they all know about and Manchester United seem to be not too sure what's going on.

"You don't really know the team, you don't really know the players, you don't know how they're going to perform from one week to the next. So I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see them challenging for the league this year."

MIAMI, FL - JULY 31:  Eric Bailly of Manchester United in action with Gareth Bale of Real Madrid during the pre-season friendly match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Hard Rock Stadium on July 31, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Eric Bailly; Gareth Bale
Image: Fred is one of two summer recruits to date for Manchester United, with Diogo Dalot also joining from Porto

United have recruited Fred and Diogo Dalot this summer, and are still hopeful of signing Harry Maguire.

Also See:

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba's future also remains unclear, with United rejecting an offer of £45m plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes for the World Cup winner from Barcelona earlier this week.

A busy end to the summer transfer window follows what has been a tumultuous pre-season for United, with Mourinho admitting it had been "difficult" after their 1-0 friendly defeat at Bayern Munich on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho issues instructions during Manchester United's pre-season tour of America
Image: Jose Mourinho admitted Manchester United's pre-season had been 'difficult'

Mourinho is now preparing for United's Premier League opener against Leicester on Friday Night Football, and Scholes insists his former side must get off to a fast start - or else the manager could face pressure to leave.

"Do I think he will leave? I've absolutely no idea. He needs to get off to a good start this season, there's no doubt about that," Scholes added.

Live FNF

"I think a lot will depend on how his team plays, you know. If his team don't do well, if they're not playing well, if they're not entertaining people, they're not challenging for the league, then he possibly could go.

"But he's got great experience, he's been at top clubs, he's been in difficult positions before, he's in a difficult position now I think, but he needs to try to find a way to get out of it."

Upgrade to Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Football now for just £18 a month.

Fantasy Football is back!

Fantasy Football is back!

Fantasy just got real. Pick your Sky Sports Fantasy Football team for free here.

Around Sky