Manchester United manager David Moyes has been warned by Alan Shearer that his side are still well short of taking their place back at the top of the Premier League tree despite six successive wins, requiring at least four top signings to be considered a truly great side once again.
Moyes has seen United find form in recent weeks after an indifferent start to the campaign featuring home defeats to West Brom and Newcastle, moving back to within eight points of table toppers Arsenal with a 1-0 win at Norwich City last weekend.
United's recent upturn in form has seen previously criticised squad players such as Danny Welbeck and Ashely Young find form, but Shearer thinks that those performances should not mask an urgent need to spend £100m on quality, experienced players capable of making an immediate impact at Old Trafford.
Shearer told The Sun: "I would keep midfield duo Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher in the squad. But really, they need another four or five top-quality players to be able to go straight into this team to get them back in the mix at home and in Europe.
"That means an outlay of £100million-plus. I know January is a difficult time to get players in, but they have to try and if not, then they must do so in the next window. The noises from the boardroom are that the money is there.
"Well, it needs to be spent. The days of this team being regarded among the best in Europe are a world away and that is where United should be."
United failed to land a whole host of transfer targets during a frustrating first window at the helm for Moyes, with Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas, Ander Herrera and Daniele De Rossi all shortlisted but ultimately deciding not to join the Premier League champions during the close season.