Manchester United assistant Mike Phelan knows that the club is currently a little bit away from challenging Barcelona to become the best team in the world.

The Old Trafford outfit have played in three Champions League finals in recent years but dropped off last season as they were dumped out at the group stage of the competition.

Although they are behind the Catalan giants right now, who were beaten by eventual European champions Chelsea in the semi-final last term, Phelan feels it won't be too long before United are again competing with the best.

"I think there is a gap there. But there's a gap for a lot of teams, not just ourselves," he said.

"Barcelona have been exceptional - they've combined experience and youth and maintained success.

"The challenge for us is to compete. It will take time but we're not that far away. We've been in three European finals and we've won one. Now we're hungry to continue that. Barcelona are the ones to catch."

Click here to reach the No1 destination for hard news and exciting gossip on Manchester United

For all the latest football news go to <a href=""></a>.

More Sport News