Carvalho plays down Monaco title hopes

The Portuguese defender believes the newly-promoted principality club will likely finish outside the top two in Ligue 1 in 2013-14 despite their lavish summer spending
AS Monaco defender Ricardo Carvalho has played down his side's chances of mounting a challenge for the Ligue 1 title next season.

Claudio Ranieri's side have stunned the continent with their summer spending to date, splashing out upwards of €120 million on the likes of Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez.

Ranieri himself acknowledged that the Principality club would struggle to usurp Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the standings in France this season, and Carvalho - who also moved to Stade Louis II this summer - believes a top-four finish is their realistic target.

"We want to be ambitious, but we will most likely finish third or fourth," he told Le Parisien.

"Paris already have a very competitive team in place. Monaco have just begun. There will also be other good teams, but we need to grow as a collective. We will have to try to win our games.

"PSG remain the favourites. I hope to see us finish behind them."

Carvalho went on to express his excitement at being part of the Monaco "adventure" and believes his experience - along with that of former Barcelona defender Eric Abidal - will be important to the side in the coming campaign.

"This is a new adventure," he continued. "There are several Portuguese in the group and numerous other Spanish speakers. It makes adapting easier. Everything is fine for me.

"Abidal a great player. He holds a lot of experience, like me. He will have his work to do and I have mine."

Monaco commence their Ligue 1 compaign with a match against Bordeaux on August 10.