Michael Owen has warned Manchester United their problems will not be solved by splashing the cash on big-money transfers.
Reinforcements are on the way, though, with striker Edinson Cavani and left-back Alex Telles set to be unveiled on Monday.
But former United striker Owen does not expect further additions to automatically solve his old club’s issues.
“If I was the chairman or the owner, I would be nervous spending another £100m or another £200m,” Owen told Premier League Productions. “How many times are Man United going to do that? ‘Oh, there’s a problem, let’s throw millions at it! Let’s throw more millions at it!’
“And I know fans are desperate for big-money signings because it gets everyone excited but, unless you get the basics right, unless you’ve got a plan, unless you’ve got a system, unless you’re getting the best out of the current players, how can you them be trusted to spend another £200m?
“It beggars belief and that’s the first thing they’ve got to get right: get the best out of the current players before you start looking into someone else’s garden.”
Owen also urged United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to take inspiration from rival bosses Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United.
“Look at Jurgen Klopp, look at Marcelo Bielsa, there’s so many examples of managers demanding it,” Owen added. “This is something that you can’t just say: ‘Come on lads, today we’re going to switch on’. This happens in training.
“I’d hate to admit this because obviously Manchester United fans are watching this but, at Liverpool, what you see on a Saturday is absolutely what you see on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. When somebody loses the ball in training it’s an automatic thing.”