By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham will not finish in the top three this season, according to Danny Murphy.
The Match of the Day pundit made the controversial claim on Sunday night even though the north London duo clinched top-three positions last season and Jurgen Klopp’s team annihilated Barcelona 4-0 in a landmark pre-season friendly on Saturday.
Murphy is convinced that Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are the three strongest teams ahead of the new campaign following their summer transfer activity.
The former Liverpool midfielder believes the Premier League’s top six will be made up of two separate leagues next season, with the trio below the top three battling for the final Champions League spot.
Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night, Murphy said: “United, City, I think they’ll be up there. Chelsea even though they weren’t last season, will be fighting with them for the top three.
“Below them will be Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham. Some supporters might not like that but its the only way I can see it with the investment that’s been made.”
United are close to sealing a deal for midfielder Paul Pogba for a world record fee after signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Chelsea have prised N’Golo Kante from Chelsea and added to their striker roster with the capture of Michy Batshuayi.
Arsenal still are yet to add a striker or centre-back to their team even though Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is in the market for players in both key positions.
Spurs have made only two signings this summer, with Vincent Janssen and Victor Wanyama joining the team that finished third under Mauricio Pochettino.
Liverpool have been the most active of the Premier League big hitters in the transfer market, with Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum their two headline signings.
In other Tottenham news, Juventus are eyeing a fringe Spurs player to replace Paul Pogba.