Manchester United are so far behind the Premier League pacesetters that Phil Neville believes his former club needs to invest another £300 million on new players before they can seriously challenge for the domestic title.
The former Red Devils star - who was part of the famous Class of '92 - is adamant that Louis van Gaal's side still has huge areas for improvement, despite the £150 million outlay on six new signings during the summer.
Neville feels that Manchester United must match their outlandish summer spending again in the next two transfer windows if they are planning to rival the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for the English top-flight crown in 2014/15.
Phil Neville quote:
"I know United have spent £150m," he told BBC Radio 5 live in an interview, quoted by the Daily Mail. "I think there's another two transfer windows of similar amounts of money needed - maybe £100m - before they can even think about winning the title.
"There are still key positions in the team that need filling. I think the centre-back position is obviously the key area. Holding midfield or centre midfield needs addressing too.
"There were no world-class centre-backs out there [this summer]. I think that's why in the next two transfer windows, United might still be looking for that world-class defender."
Fresh from breaking the British transfer record to bring in Argentine winger Angel di Maria from Real Madrid in a £59.7 million deal, Van Gaal also splashed the cash on the likes of Ander Herrera (£29m), Luke Shaw (£31m), Marcos Rojo (£16m), Daley Blind (£14m) and the season-long loan of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao (£6m) in the hope of changing Manchester United's fortunes this season, off the back of last year's disappointing seventh place finish.
But, with just one victory from their opening six games in all competitions - including that embarrassing 4-0 defeat at the hands of League One outfit MK Dons in the Capital One Cup - this term, the Dutch coach is finding the challenge at Old Trafford more difficult than he would've expected.
United looked to have turned a corner following an emphatic 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers after the international break, but were swiftly brought back to reality when they were beaten 5-3 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.
Van Gaal's men twice surrendered two-goal leads with Nigel Pearson's newly-promoted side coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to claim a memorable victory, ensuring that Red Devils' fans misery continues.
Neville's comments are particularly damning for many of Manchester United's current crop of players, although he did back English central defensive pairing Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to play important roles for the club moving forward.
"I am certain Chris Smalling will come good and I have full faith in Phil Jones as well," he added. "They've bought of a lot of foreign players, you don't get rid of your English spine."
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