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The United chief executive stated that the top clubs in Europe too will not want to face the Premier League champions so early in the European competition

EXCLUSIVE
By Rahul Bali

Manchester United chief executive David Gill has told Goal.com that Barcelona and Real Madrid will want to avoid his side in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Following United's 2-2 with Benfica at Old Trafford in midweek, the Portuguese side look set to top Group C, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson's men with a potentially tricky tie in the first round of the knockout stages.

“Well finishing first is clearly going to be difficult now because of the way the rules work. It requires us to beat Basel and then Galati to do well against Benfica because of our head-to-head record," Gill told Goal.com.

“Yes, we can get a Barcelona or a Real Madrid, but I’m sure they don’t want to play Manchester United in the last 16 either."

Gill maintains United are solely focussed on reaching the last 16 draw, rather than targeting their potential opponents in the latter stages of the competition.

“We are going to get through the next round. At the end of the day, you never know what the draw is going to be," he said.

“If we look too far ahead then we will not get to where we want to get to. I think Alex and the team will be concentrating on getting the result in Basel, getting into the draw of the last 16 and then we’ll see what happens. If you tell me today that we are definitely in the last 16, I’ll be very happy

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