Gary Neville believes Liverpool are a better run club than Manchester United - but expects the Old Trafford side to continue to be a more appealing prospect to potential new owners.
The bitter North West rivals have both been placed up for sale by their respective owners Fenway Sports Group and the Glazer family, prompted by the influx of new money at Premier League rivals Newcastle United and Chelsea and the ongoing financial might of Manchester City.
While a section of the Reds support have been unhappy at what they believe is a lack of support for Jurgen Klopp in the transfer market, United fans have long wanted a change of ownership given the investment required on bolstering both the infrastructure and the playing staff.
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Despite rumoured interest, FSG have yet to receive any concrete interest in a full takeover or their other option of share of the club in the form of outside investment. By contrast, billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has expressed he would like to buy United.
And when asked to compare the two clubs, Neville said to the ECHO: "Liverpool at this moment in time is the club that is run the better. In the last 10 years they have modernised the ground, they have got the best manager - I think Erik Ten Hag is a good manager, but Jurgen Klopp has proven over the last decade he's one of the best in the world - so you'd say Liverpool is healthier.
"But even the most ardent Liverpool fan has to accept the scale and might of United from a commercial point of view. The growth that could still come into it, you'd always buy United over Liverpool. You might say that's just me being biased.
"Without doubt they are the two biggest clubs in the country by a mile, they are the two clubs who are watched most by people in this country and around the world, they are the best supported clubs in this country and around the world, but I do think United edge it.
"What United did at the start of the Premier League era still stands. Liverpool stood still for 20 years while United moved ahead. To be fair, United have stood still the last eight to 10 years and Liverpool have caught up. But I still think United have the potential - they need to build a new ground, a new team probably and a new training ground, so a lot of money is required - that when they get it right, they can be off-the-scale big."
United are still in contention in three cup competitions and are on the fringes of the Premier League title race having bolstered their squad with a number of big-money additions last summer.
And with Liverpool poised to ramp up their squad rebuild at the end of the season, Neville believes the progress of United and runaway leaders Arsenal shows the change that can be achieved in a short period, even if he expects the Gunners to ultimately fall away in the second half of the campaign.
"United have got back to the level they should be at this season, but that next jump from third to first is a huge jump," said the Sky Sports pundit. "At this moment in time they are nowhere near in my opinion. But if you can get three or four signings spot on... look at Arsenal. They've gone from fifth and are now top. You can do it, it can be done.
"Will Arsenal hang on? I don't think so, no. I genuinely don't. But there are people I respect in the game and they say they will hang on. Arsenal fans say I'm being awkward and poking at them, but I'm not - I genuinely think they will fall off.
"If you ask me in mid-April and they are still six points clear, even then I'd be saying 'let's see what happens'. You can lose it. Lose two matches and you're done. That's what could happen to Arsenal, and I do think City will catch them.
"But City aren't right. Even the Cancelo thing this week, that was odd. Things like that play into the hands of Arsenal. City have been poor by their own high standards, but they are in a position where they can still win the league, the Champions League and the FA Cup. It's too early to write them off."
Gary Neville will be appearing at the M&S Bank Arena on Thursday night alongside fellow Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Roy Keane in The Overlap Live, a stage version of his YouTube show. Some tickets remain available and can be purchased at cuffeandtaylor.com.
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