Rio Ferdinand’s Manchester United prediction joke and Liverpool message for Erik ten Hag

The Red Devils legend has given his thoughts on how his former club will fare under new manager Erik ten Hag next season.

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has backed Manchester City to claim a third consecutive Premier League title next season.

Pep Guardiola’s side came through an eventful title battle with Liverpool to become champions for the fourth time in the last five seasons and continue their domestic domination under the former Barcelona head coach.

The two sides look set to go head-to-head for the top spot next season - although Chelsea will to make ground on City and Liverpool after ending the campaign with an 18-point deficit on the main title challengers.

Ferdinand joked that one of his former clubs could mount a surprise title challenge if they get things right in the transfer market under new manager Erik ten Hag - but conceded their cross-city rivals are his pick to become champions in 12 months.

When discussing his tip for next season’s title on his Vibe with Five podcast, he said: “It depends on Man United’s recruitment. Jokes! No, no, no.

“Listen, I said at the beginning of this season that Chelsea would win it after winning the Champions League and what (Thomas) Tuchel had done, but they went backwards.

“I’m going to go for City. I think they’ll get the three in a row they’re looking for. I think that will happen.”

An intriguing summer lies in wait as Ten Hag settles into life with the Red Devils.

Significant challenges are ahead as the former Ajax manager looks to rejuvenate the club’s fortunes on the back of their worst season in Premier League history.

Ferdinand insisted their current state is similar to the one Jurgen Klopp inherited at Liverpool and believes Ten Hag will deserve a similar ‘messiah’ status if he can produce similar results with United.

“I think what Klopp’s done has been nothing short of remarkable, to come in and change that club around. Where they were is almost like where Man United are at now,” he added.

“So if Ten Hag can come in and do like what he (Klopp) did, we’ll be looking at him as a Messiah. So I think it’s only right we do that with Klopp.”