Manchester United have been forced into signing Alexis Sanchez “because of the form of Liverpool in particular,” according to Phil Neville.
Sanchez is nearing his move to United, as confirmed by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Thursday.
Many believe that United are attempting to overhaul City’s 12-point gap at the top of the Premier League by signing the Chilean.
But Neville says that they are instead trying to keep distance between themselves and third-placed Liverpool, who are three points behind.
“I would have thought maybe a month ago Alexis Sanchez wouldn’t have come on the radar,” Neville told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“All of a sudden, every now and again there comes a signing that you have to make, or if he’s available you have to try and make.
“Sanchez, because of the form of Liverpool in particular… I think it’s maybe hurried up the need for someone to come in and, not secure United’s second place, but actually give them a massive, massive boost.
“I think United will finish in the top four and in second place but the form of Liverpool must be a worry because they’re playing unbelievable at this moment in time.
“And the Sanchez deal, I think not only does it lift Manchester United, I think maybe taking him off City gives them a little bit of a boost as well.”