Jose Mourinho has publicly clashed with United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who is in charge of club operations including transfers, over the lack of new players being bought.
As well, the Red Devils have recorded just one win in six pre-season matches, with low moments including draws against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes, along with a 4-1 loss against Liverpool in Michigan.
Ahead of the new season, bet365 now offer 9/4 (3.25) on United finishing fifth or below this season, which would be the third time in four years they have failed to reach the top four.
Steve Freeth of bet365 said: “The general consensus is that it’s Klopp, not Mourinho, that is best placed to challenge Guardiola’s supremacy with United’s 2017/18 second place finish already a distant memory to some.”
They finished second last term but only Fred and Diogo Dalot have been brought in whilst failed attempts to sign Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire have left Mourinho frustrated.
Fellow top six sides Liverpool and Chelsea have both convincingly strengthened, and with Mourinho’s 'third season syndrome' well-documented, the 9/4 (3.25) quote looks like it could well pay dividends come May.
United are still third-favourites to win the league but the 7/1 (8.0) quote shows the enormity of the task ahead of them if they are to claim a first title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in 2013.
The online bookmaker are 2/5 (1.40) on United not winning a trophy this term, although the fact they have claimed the FA Cup and the EFL Cup in recent years makes the 7/4 (2.75) price on them to win any trophy tempting.
Odds correct at the time of writing. Please gamble responsibly.