Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has said that the arrivals of Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini at the club were strong signs that they were going in the wrong direction.
Having dominated the Premier League since its inception in 1992, United have not won a top-flight title since Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s current side 12th after eight games.
The Red Devils have tried and failed to rebuild the club by bringing in the likes of Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho and it is hoped club legend Solskjaer can succeed those who have gone before him.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Scholes talked about where a potential rebuild could take United and insisted that the club’s current problems could have been foreseen with the signings of Mata and Fellaini – who “weren’t Manchester United players”.
“We hope [a rebuild] goes for challenging for league titles and Champions Leagues,” the 44-year-old said. “When you look five or six years ago when Alex Ferguson left — the other person who probably didn’t get the credit he deserved was David Gill.
“He was a football man, he knew football. And from the day he went, as well as Sir Alex, it’s been difficult.
“I think there were alarm bells straight away really when David [Moyes] took over and he signed Juan Mata and [Marouane] Fellaini for something like £70million, who are good players in their own right but I don’t think they were Man United players.
“I don’t think Alex Ferguson or David Gill would have signed those type of players and I think from then on, alarm bells have rang and we’re in the position we are now because of buying players who weren’t Man United players.”
When quizzed about how long he thinks it could take before his former side are back at the top, Scholes replied: “I think four or five transfer windows and they’ve got to be four or five good transfer windows.
“I think Ole’s first few signings have been very good, very promising and as long as he’s the man in charge of the players that are coming in, then I don’t see a problem.”
Meanwhile, United are said to be interested in signing attacking reinforcements in January and the latest report says the club have their eye on a £71m target from the French first division.