Manchester United have been told they must go out and sign a top central midfielder, preferably Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Sir Alex Ferguson has also been informed he lacks a dominant presence in the centre of midfield and it was the cause of their downfall against Manchester City.
All this advice has come from former Manchester United boss Ron Atkinson, who took to MUTV after the derby defeat to explain what had gone wrong.
Atkinson felt the battle was lost in the middle of the park and urged Ferguson to find a player that would stop something similar happening next time the teams met.
“They need someone who can dominate central midfield the way Yaya Toure and David Silva did,” he told the Red Devils’ official television channel.
“(Bastian) Schweinsteiger would be would be perfect, and he has a bad habit of passing to his own players.”
Manchester United were second best for much of the 2-1 loss and were fortunate to cancel out James Milner’s opener when Phil Jones mistimed a header on the line but saw it go in off the back of Citizens captain Vincent Kompany.
However, there was not a lot they could do about Sergio Aguero’s brilliant winner.
While Manchester United’s pride was dented, the victory for Robert Mancini’s side is unlikely to do any greater damage.
The Premier League champions still trail their fierce local rivals by 12 points and there are only seven fixtures remaining.