Manchester United may miss out on a place in the top four to either Tottenham or Chelsea even if they hold onto Paul Pogba .
That is the warning of Premier League pundit and ex-Liverpool star Steve Nicol, who has concerns about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
The Red Devils are on the climb and enter New Year’s Day sitting fifth, four points behind Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho’s Spurs, meanwhile, are a point further back to United in sixth, level with Wolves.
With Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester City running away from the chasing pack in the top three, it looks as though only one more space will be for grabs in the Champions League for next season.
Pogba has only just returned from a lengthy lay-off due to a foot injury at Old Trafford, but his immediate future is still up in the air, especially with the transfer window now open.
The £89m club-record signing desires a switch to Real Madrid, but whether Zinedine Zidane’s side make a fresh move remains to be seen.
United themselves need further additions and Solskjaer has been promised funds, irrelevant of what happens with Pogba.
Although they have already missed out on top target Erling Haaland, as the striker chose Borussia Dortmund instead.
Paul Pogba is pushing his luck with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Pundit Nicol was asked by ESPN FC presenter Adrian Healey if United needed to make any signings this month to strengthen their top-four credentials.
“If Pogba stays but they don’t bring anyone else in, are they good enough for the top four?” Healey asked.
And Nicol responded by saying United must be active but also keep Pogba and use him in the right position.
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“I don’t think so,” Nicol replied. “It’s definitely a fight between them, Chelsea and Tottenham for me for that…