LONDON –Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes that whoever finishes above Manchester City will be crowned English champions.
Before the new season United have spent £107m on England winger Jadon Sancho and France defender Raphael Varane.
City have responded by smashing the British transfer record in paying Aston Villa £100m for Jack Grealish.
Chelsea may go even higher to sign former United striker Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan.
With City still hoping to get England captain Harry Kane to join them from Tottenham and Liverpool signing central defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig for £36m to play with fit-again Virgil van Dijk, Solskjaer feels the battle for major honours will be intense.
“This season coming up is one of the strongest Premier League seasons,” he said.
“Of course it’s been City and Liverpool fighting it out for a few years but I feel us and Chelsea have spent well and worked well and we should look at ourselves as potential challengers – but it’s potential.
“You notice that there’s big money being spent somewhere else and you have to keep up with the challenges.
“Anyone who ends up above last year’s champions will be champions.”
Varane is still to have his medical – and he and Sancho are yet to train with their new club.
Sancho will link up with the squad back at Carrington when United return from their training camp in St Andrews before today’s friendly with Everton at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer is relaxed about the situation but accepts neither may start the opening Premier League game at home to Leeds on August 14.
“I need to see how they are,” he said. “I can’t see them being available for Everton but hopefully they will be ready to be on the bench (against Leeds).”
Although United are still being linked with new players, including Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, it is understood Solskjaer would need to trim his squad before he could bring anyone else in.