Paul Scholes has ruled out the prospect of Manchester United winning the Premier League this season. The Old Trafford legend admitted, however, that the arrival of new manager Louis van Gaal has restored the fear factor that was so missing during David Moyes' disastrous reign last season.
But Scholes is concerned United have failed to spend enough in the transfer market to be considered genuine title contenders.
"For all the benefit I believe Van Gaal will bring in the long term, I find it hard to see them as Premier League title contenders this season," said Scholes in his column for the Independent newspaper.
"My instinct is the title will be between City and Chelsea with United, Liverpool and Arsenal in competition for the two remaining Champions League places. United have not signed enough players in this window."
“That’s even allowing for Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera.
“To my mind, they needed a top-level midfielder, of which there were very few available this summer.
“Just two, in fact. And Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos have already made their moves.”
Manchester United, meanwhile, could be close to making a breakthrough in their attempts to sign Arturo Vidal after reports emerged suggesting current striker Javier Hernandez could be on his way to Juventus as part of a swap deal.
United’s pursuit of the Chile midfielder has been one of the talking points of the summer with Dutchman Van Gaal determined to strengthen his midfield after arriving at Old Trafford.
The 27-year-old has remained coy on his future, although he has also been reluctant to commit his future to the Serie A champions when quizzed on a move to United.
While Juventus reiterated that the midfielder is not for sale, there is a suggestion that the Italian club would still be interested in offloading Vidal in return for £36m and two players, with one of them believed to be Mexico striker Hernandez.
The other is thought to be United misfit Nani, who has failed to deliver on his promise that led Sir Alex Ferguson to sign him from Sporting Lisbon in 2007.
Incidentally, Daley Blind has been spotted house-hunting in the north West as he prepares to complete a £15million move to Old Trafford.
United have been strongly linked with Blind for most of the summer and reports this week suggested talks with Ajax were under way.
The player has since talked up the move, saying the Red Devils would be hard to turn down, and now he’s making plans for his switch to Old Trafford.
According to reports last night, Blind arrived in England this week to begin house-hunting as he waits for United and Ajax to agree terms.