David Moyes is adamant Manchester United will be a major force this season even if he does not make the additions he is looking for.
United's pursuit of Cesc Fabregas appears to have stalled, meaning they will head back to England at their end of their five-match tour of the Far East and Australia without strengthening as so many anticipated.
Links to Everton duo Leighton Baines and Maroune Fellaini continue to be made, and having already stated he needs more bodies in midfield the latter man in particular seems certain to be of interest.
Yet Moyes has reminded worried United fans that their team are defending Premier League champions.
And with the club slapping a 'not for sale' sign around Wayne Rooney, other than the retired Paul Scholes, Moyes has all the players responsible for that triumph available to him.
"The squad Manchester United has, without any additions, will be tough opponents for any team this year," he said.
"That is the squad that finished 11 points clear in the Premier League. I am confident in that squad."
Speaking ahead of the final tour game against local Hong Kong outfit Kitchee FC, Moyes is relishing the campaign that lies ahead.
Yet talk continues to be dominated by the pursuit of Fabregas and Rooney's status at United.
More may become clear with the Fabregas situation when he returns to training with Barcelona amid speculation he will restate his desire to remain at the Nou Camp.
There have been no such assurances from Rooney, who is said to be wary of the influence Sir Alex Ferguson still has at Old Trafford and the Scot's negative opinion of him.
Yet Sir Bobby Charlton is confident Rooney will remain where he is beyond the September 2 transfer deadline and could still get the 52 goals he needs to match his own club scoring record.
"Wayne Rooney is a Manchester United player and I think that he will continue to be a Manchester United player," said Charlton, who was speaking during a visit to the Laureus-supported Operation Breakthrough project.
"We are not silly enough to make any rash decisions.
"I don't like losing really good players and he is a really, really good player.
"I was hoping one day that he might score as many goals as I had and that would have been really nice if it was at our club. I'm still thinking that way."
Moyes has confirmed skipper Nemanja Vidic will face Crewe in a pre-season friendly at Gresty Road this evening.