Fred warned Arsenal and Manchester City that Manchester United could pip them to the Premier League title this term.

On Sunday United beat Newcastle 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final to end the club’s longest trophy drought in 40 years.

Casemiro and Marcus Rashford both netted first-half goals to help the Old Trafford club to their first silverware of any kind since 2017 when Jose Mourinho led United to Europa League glory.

United remain in contention in three further competitions this term. The Old Trafford club are still competing in the Europa League and FA Cup while they have a slim chance of winning the Premier League.

Ten Hag has been keen to temper title expectations in the past few weeks, deflecting questions on the matter. After all, the club are languishing some eight points behind table-toppers Arsenal.

However, Fred appeared to welcome talk of a title challenge, with the Brazilian insisting that United were the team with the momentum.

Fred on United’s title challenge

Speaking to TNT Brazil/ESPN (via SportMail), Fred insisted that United were capable of beating Arsenal and City to the Premier League title.

The Brazilian said: “We know Arsenal and [Manchester] City are great teams, but we have our means to fight for it [the Premier League].

“Our momentum is very good, so why not? We have three competitions left and will fight for each one of them.

“We are extremely happy today, it’s my fifth season here and this title means a lot to me and to the club’s way back to the top.

“We have a lot to fight for this season yet.”

The Gunners are currently at the Premier League summit, just two points clear of reigning champions City, albeit with a game in hand.

And while it seems unlikely that United will overtake either to win their first league title since 2013 this season, Ten Hag insisted that their Carabao Cup success was just the start.

The Dutchman said: “It shows something, silverware, that you are on a good pathway, a good direction. It’s one cup, it’s February, but it shows we are on the right path. This has to be the motivation to continue on this pathway. Be happy for 24 hours but not satisfied.

“You have to celebrate, because it’s not business as usual, it’s not a common day. We won a trophy and this means something, that’s the feeling I get here in the UK. We won something, we have to celebrate that.

“But, after you, have to keep going. The players know we have a big game on Wednesday. First, we have to win the first one [trophy] and that is what we did today. I think we get a lot of inspiration from this and also more confidence that we can do it.

“We are still at the start to restore Manchester United back to where we belong, that is winning trophies. This is the first one.”