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Manchester United and Chelsea are about to be competing off the pitch as well as on it

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There will only be three points at stake when Manchester United travel to Stamford Bridge on Monday, but for the future prospects of United and Chelsea this game could mean so much more than that.

There are obvious comparisons to be made between United and Chelsea at the moment, two clubs being managed by former players who were worshipped when they were on the pitch.

For now transfer market battles between United and Chelsea can wait, but events on the pitch on Monday could have an impact on the summer as well.

For starters a defeat for United could spell the end of their top four hopes this season, but the implications could continue into the summer and a few months which could be decisive for both teams.

A tug-of-war for Sancho between United and Chelsea could define the summer and the following season for the victors.

It is in attacking areas where the battle for players might be most obviously waged this summer, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Chelsea pursued another midfielder, which could lead them to treading on United's toes, while it's not out of the question Solskjaer adds a left-back to his summer shopping list, which is an area Lampard is almost certain to be focusing on.

That might give United a head start in any move for the 19-year-old England international, yet there's no doubt Chelsea have the financial muscle to pull the deal off if Abramovich suddenly rediscovers his deep pockets.
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