Manchester United need to be looking at spending around £300 million ($370m) on new players, says Lee Sharpe, with Tottenham striker Harry Kane for £200m ($246m) the kind of deal they should be targeting.
The Red Devils invested heavily again over the summer, bringing in Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.
They did, however, sanction a number of outgoings as well and are not considered to have greatly improved the collective quality at Old Trafford.
Recent results have highlighted that point, with pressure mounting on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the general consensus is that more marquee additions are required.
Former United winger Sharpe is of that mindset, with it his opinion that the Red Devils need to be splashing the cash on proven talent such as Spurs star Kane.
He told talkSPORT when quizzed on what it will take to fix an underperforming squad: “I think you are looking at least £300 million.
“You need someone like a Harry Kane for £200m/£220m that is going to score you 25 goals a season and you’ve got a different outlook in the team.
“So it is not going to be a cheap one.
“It’s difficult to keep up with the likes of Man City and Liverpool when they’ve set such high standards.
“You’ve got to stop comparing this team to Liverpool and City and great United teams of the past and give them the chance to grow and educate themselves and become potentially what they could be in a year or 18 months’ time.”
While adding his voice to those who have questioned United’s on-field recruitment in recent years, Sharpe also believes that poor decisions have been made off the field.
He was never convinced that Solskjaer is the right man for a high-profile coaching post, but believes faith now needs to be shown in the Norwegian during a lengthy rebuilding process.
The ex-England international added: “The last three managers, and the last three ways of doing things, have all not worked, so I don’t think it is just the managers.
“You’ve got to look at who is appointing the managers and who’s running the club from the top.
“This is another way of doing it, with Ole and playing youngsters and getting lads through the academy and getting rid of players like [Romelu] Lukaku and [Alexis] Sanchez and [Ander] Herrera.
“It is another avenue and they’ve got to trust what they are doing.
“Otherwise it’s another change at Christmas and it all starts from the beginning again.”