Jamie Carragher believes the chasing pack are ready to close the gap on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, but he suspects only one team are capable of halting the march of Jurgen Klopp’s champions.
Speaking to TEAMtalk at a Sky Sports event, Liverpool legend Carragher suggests Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are the only team that have what it takes to dethrone a side that finished 18 points ahead of them in an embarrassingly one-sided title race last season.
So while Carragher is calling for the Manchester giants and the London trio of Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal to change the Premier League narrative, he expects the top two will still be in a league of their own.
“I’m a Liverpool man and I want to see them win the league again, but maybe not in the manner they did it last season,” said Carragher.
“We want and we need to see a competitive title race I want to see the other teams get closer to Liverpool because we need it to be more competitive.
“We don’t want any team to be 20 or 30 points ahead and while I want Liverpool to win the league, I’d like to see them in the tight title race and winning it on the last day of the season in exciting fashion, going down to the wire and with less points than they got last season.
“If the top one or two teams are getting 99 and 100 points every season, it means there are fewer points to go around, so I would like to see the total points needed to win the Premier League go down to 90 points this season as that would mean we will have a more interesting title race.
“That could happen as I expect all the teams trying to chase Liverpool to do better than they did last season, but I only see two teams in contention for the title and that will be the top two for the last couple of years.
“The chasing pack have to bridge the gap on Liverpool and that’s why teams like Chelsea have been spending money in the transfer market to try and make that happen, but Liverpool and City are a long way ahead of the rest and I don’t see that changing.”
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Meanwhile, Liverpool will not allow Georginio Wijnaldum to join Barcelona for a cut-price fee this summer, amid claims the Reds had given up on trying to keep him.
Wijnaldum has refused to extend his deal at Anfield leading to speculation over the 29-year-old’s future.
The midfielder has been strongly mentioned as a target for Barca ever since Ronald Koeman took charge. Mundo Deportivo claimed Koeman had given the green light for the deal and actually ‘endorses’ the transfer.
Sport further backed up those claims. They say the possibility of Wijnaldum arriving at Camp Nou is ‘beginning to take shape’ after Koeman made the signing a ‘priority’.
In fact Koeman’s fellow Dutchman has become a ‘non-negotiable goal’ for the former Everton boss.
And now that deal appears even closer following a big claim made by Algemeen Dagblad.
As per the Rotterdam-based paper, Wijnaldum’s agent is ‘close to an agreement with Barcelona on a deal’.