Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United are “three players” short of challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title.
United have made good progress since Premier League restart with just four dropped points to stretch their unbeaten run to 19 games in all competitions.
Thursday’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace means a top-four place remains in their own hands, with a final-day meeting with Leicester looking crucial.
Their form has also seen Giggs revise his May statement that United still needed ‘four or five’ to become title challengers.
Two wins from their final two games will ensure Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has met his pre-season objective of a Champions League finish.
And regardless of that Solskjaer will spend in the summer to try and bridge the gap on the top two.
Giggs told Premier League Productions: “I still think we’re off City and Liverpool by two or three players.
“But Ole has done really, really well in the two transfer windows he’s had.
“Good characters are coming in. You see [Bruno] Fernandes, he looks like a leader, he looks like a character. [Harry] Maguire, he’s their captain.
‘Moving in the right direction’
“It’s not just about having the players, it’s about having that culture, that character that can improve not only the starting XI but the squad and the overall feeling around the club.
“They’re certainly moving in the right direction. But, I still believe we need three new players.”
United have been heavily linked with Jadon Sancho, Saul Niguez and Jack Grealish.
While Solskjaer is believed to be looking for a left-sided centre-back to provide a long-term partner for Maguire.
BT Sport cameras captured Solskjaer’s chat with left-footed defender Nathan Ake after United’s 5-2 win over Bournemouth last week.
Solskjaer congratulated Ake for his performance and allegedly told the Dutchman: “We need a left-footed centre-back, so keep going.”