Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp doubts Manchester United are in a strong enough position to challenge for the 2014/15 Premier League title, despite appointing Louis van Gaal as their new manager. Redknapp believes the Red Devils need up to five new players to close the gap on Chelsea and reigning champions Manchester City.
“Van Gaal's got a good track record but they need players,” the 67-year-old told talkSPORT. 'He needs to bring four or five players in at least to get them back to where they were under Alex [Ferguson], where they were winning championships because they look well short of that at the moment.
“Certainly at this stage you wouldn’t want to bet on them winning the league next year. I wouldn’t see them winning it next year unless he suddenly pulls three or four fantastic players out of the hat.”
United still behind Chelsea and City
Redknapp added that United, who finished last season seventh in the Premier League table, are still some way behind their rivals.
The likes of Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal have all made big signings this summer, while Liverpool are expected to splash the cash on reinforcements - to add to the acquisition of 20-year-old Serbia international Lazar Markovic - after losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
“I wouldn’t see [United] being as strong as Chelsea or Man City,” Redknapp continued. “I think Arsenal have made a great signing [in Alexis Sanchez] so they could get a lot closer next year.
“It’s quite open. I would love to see Liverpool have another great season but they’ve lost an incredible player [Luis Suarez], he’s irreplaceable really.”
Watch: Van Gaal's first Man Utd press conference
Van Gaal to continue spending
There’s a possibility that Manchester United will start the season with several new faces. The Red Devils have already spent close to £60 million on the signings of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, but more players are expected to arrive as Van Gaal seeks to bolster his options.
However, there is now less than a month before United’s opening Premier League match of the new campaign against Swansea City, while Van Gaal is with the squad for the club’s pre-season tour of the USA until early August.
Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal is the player most United fans want to see at Old Trafford next season, while Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels is reportedly Van Gaal’s top defensive target.
But, unless the Manchester United boss manages to recruit such quality before the transfer window closes on September 2, Redknapp believes not even the arrival of Van Gaal will be enough to see the Red Devils secure a 21st league title.
Is Redknapp right? How many new players does Van Gaal need for his new-look Manchester United side? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below.