A potential £60m loss, pay-cuts and an obstacle to signing elite players: The huge cost of Man Utd missing out on the Champions League
Manchester United couldn't miss out on the Champions League again, could they? Oh yes they could! Erik ten Hag's side have been in the Premier League's top four since they won 1-0 at Wolves on December 31, but as they prepare to face Julen Lopetegui's side again on Saturday, they are in serious danger of losing that coveted fourth spot to Liverpool.
United had a seven-point lead over Liverpool less than two weeks ago after beating Aston Villa, but that advantage has been chopped to just one point since. If they fail to beat Wolves, Jurgen Klopp's side would leapfrog them with a win at Leicester City on Monday.
United do have a game in hand on Liverpool. but while the Merseysiders are in unstoppable form, United are in freefall. A large factor in them losing their grip on the top four has been their horrendous away form. The twin defeats at Brighton and West Ham meant they have lost eight away league matches this season, as many as Everton.
In their last 10 games, they have only scored eight goals, fewer than any other team in the league. The Red Devils look exhausted after playing more matches than any team in Europe's top five leagues and their confidence is on the floor, symbolised by David de Gea's howler against West Ham, as well as Marcus Rashford and Antony's wayward shooting.
Finishing in the top four is the most basic requirement for a club like United, who have never failed to qualify for the Champions League for two consecutive seasons. GOAL, though, looks at the possible consequences if they do miss out on Europe's top-tier competition once again...