Jose Mourinho had said he would settle for just three signings this summer, after Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic moved to Old Trafford. Defending champion Chelsea (+325) and Manchester United (+325) are the closest contenders, before a big drop-off to Tottenham Hotspur (+900).
Matic, now 29 and standing an impressive 6ft 4in tall, wanted to join him in the Theatre of Dreams revolution.
Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young remain long-term absentees after picking up injuries towards the end of last season.
"So between the players we lost and the players we got, I think we are in a similar situation".
"There are not many, there are just a couple".
Townsend feels the Amex Stadium outfit have every chance of a long-term future in the Premier League should they beat the drop this time.
Wayne Rooney, no longer needed at Manchester United and long linked with a lucrative pre-retirement contract in China, the Middle East or Major League Soccer, chose to go home, re-signing with his boyhood club, Everton. Set the bar too high and it could backfire when results do not go their way.
" I think the [Matic] sale at this moment in time, with that Chelsea squad, could cost them the league".
"Brighton is a lovely part of the country to come and live and work in, so they shouldn't have problems in terms of attracting players".
Since Ferguson's departure, United have finished seventh, fourth, fifth and sixth in the Premier League.
"Matic knows very well what I think about him", Conte is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
He's one of those players who gives me consistency which is what I like. "I really like his method of training, his motivation and his passion".
Mourinho delivered his Matic verdict in his usual deadpan fashion in his pre-match press conference ahead of hosting West Ham this afternoon.
Zlatan is now on track for an October return, but will presumably have to train with the first-team before he can be considered match fit by the United boss.
Mourinho added: "In many things, it is".
Asked about their ambitions, Mourinho said: "Yes we can win [the Premier League]".
For the two Manchester clubs, last season was a mixed bag. Meeting this target would not only make the respective club's fans, sponsors and players happy but also keep the manager's job safe for at least another season. Step by step, we're going to fight.
From August 11 to may 13 of the top 20 clubs in England will compete for victory in the most prestigious national championship of the world.