Manchester United are in the process of a demise similar to that of the last Liverpool team to win a title, says Alan Hansen.
Hansen was a key part of the Liverpool team of 1990 - the last time the Merseyside outfit won the English First Division.
The new Manchester United boss David Moyes made just one notable signing in the summer in the form of Marouane Fellaini from Everton for £27.5m. The Premier League champions have since had their worst start to a league season in 24 years.
"Liverpool began to flounder because they failed to replace good players with better ones," Hansen told the Daily Telegraph
"The club has paid a heavy price in the two decades since."
Moyes, 50, was recommended by outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson but has since struggled with the role, finding his opening three months in charge hard going.
It was a frustrating summer for everyone at Old Trafford as players like Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Bale were pursued, but turned down the chance to join the club.
Hansen says that, although it is too early to make a judgement on Moyes, alarm bells are ringing around Old Trafford.
He believes there are some worrying similarities between the current United squad and that of Liverpool's shortly before their demise.
"It is too early to say we are now witnessing the end of the empire at Old Trafford," said Hansen.
"But alarm bells are ringing and there are clear similarities between the United of 2013 and the last Liverpool team to win the title back in 1990.
"I played in that Liverpool team 23 years ago and it was in the bottom three of the eight title-winning sides I played in at Anfield.
"It was an ageing team, one which Kenny Dalglish was looking to break up and build again with new players. In the past the club had successfully combined winning and rebuilding, but this time was different."
Hansen, 58, added: "United have more depth and quality than the 1990 Liverpool side, but I would say that the two first teams are comparable in terms of the issues they faced.
"Both could be described as ageing teams that needed breaking up, but with issues over those brought in as younger replacements."