With just a few games left in the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s men have very limited time to enter the top four.
With Liverpool all but guaranteed their first league triumph in over three decades, the chasing pack is left to ensure that the remaining three Champions League spots are secured.
The likes of Leicester City, Manchester City, Chelsea, Sheffield United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are all vying for the remaining three spots with the former two pretty much comfortably placed in second and third place respectively.
However, inconsistencies shown by Chelsea over the course of the second half of the campaign seem to suggest that the teams below the Blues have a great chance of displacing them from their current position in the table. The likes of Sheffield United, a newly-promoted team that has built a squad through intelligent scouting, has proven to be a surprise package of the top four battle.
Arsenal are showing signs of a potentially menacing outfit under new manager, Mikel Arteta while Tottenham Hotspur are also showing some serious resurgence that culminated in a 2-0 win over reigning champions Manchester City a week ago.
Wolves are another team that has started putting together a string of good results both at home and on the road.
However, as those watching on any live football stream will testify, it is Manchester United who have been found out to be the most inconsistent team in the battle for the four final Champions League spot. For the Red Devils, qualifying for fourth spot is absolutely necessary after they missed out on that last season.
There would definitely be serious implications if the residents of Old Trafford were to miss out on a spot for the most lucrative cup competition in club football.
While the club is still considered one of the richest in the world and the revenues keep pouring in, it is clear that Manchester United have already started seeing results of poor performances affecting their financial health.
The club has already reported a visible decrease in its annual revenue and failure to get in the top four would mean that the annual fees they receive from Adidas would also be slashed down. While qualifying for the Europa League is all nice, it is not the sort of competition that really pushes a sponsor to throw the sort of financial windfall the club had become accustomed to.
While not many people have thought along these lines but the longer this trend (failure to qualify for the Champions League) continues, sponsors would be looking to move towards other more consistent league performers who would gladly offer them a chance to showcase their product under the brightest of lights in European football.
While club executive, Ed Woodward has done a great job at securing global partnerships that have been built over on-the-field success over the past two decades, the castle might start crumbling. Sponsors are always out to collaborate with sports outfits that are gaining traction globally through their exploits. The same cannot be said of Manchester United.
With the way Manchester United have approached player recruitment, it is clear that this is a club where talented players are under threat of stagnating their progress. Angel Di Maria was brought to Old Trafford amid a lot of pomp but the Argentine failed to settle and was moved on.
Alexis Sanchez is enjoying a lucrative deal at Old Trafford but has been on loan at Internazionale all season long.
Paul Pogba was touted as the man who would guide the club towards a new era but the Frenchman has struggled to showcase the potential that made him one of the hottest commodities in world football. The World Cup winner seems likely to leave in the summer and such scenarios don’t give a lot of confidence to players who have been linked with moves to Old Trafford.
While Bruno Fernandes was a great acquisition, it remains to be seen if the club would be able to attract other targets to their confines without offering them Champions League football for next season.