The Red Devils endured a disastrous 2013/14 campaign under the guidance of David Moyes, which saw them slide from champions of England to a side not in any form of European competition this term.
Despite this, the club have been able to lure expensive talent to Old Trafford in the shape of Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, but a poor start has put the pressure on Louis van Gaal early on.
United have picked up just two points from three games against Swansea – whom they lost to at home – Sunderland and Burnley while also suffering the indignity of Capital One Cup elimination at the hands of the MK Dons – the League One side beat them 4-0.
And Barnes is sure that while his former side will be battling for league honours, LVG’s men will miss out on a top four finish altogether:
“Absolutely. Man United will be back to where they believe they belong in the coming years. This season is too soon for them though, with the big change they made at manager and everything that’s going on.” He told talkSPORT.
“Liverpool are playing with consistently. They will be challenging Chelsea and Man City. I believe Liverpool will finish third but I don’t think they’ll be far off the top.
“Manchester United don’t have the consistency yet to challenge for a top three or four spot.”