Manchester United are paying the price for failing to compete for England’s top stars in the transfer market, claims Gary Neville.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Neville argues that Manchester United should have pushed more seriously to sign Declan Rice and Harry Kane.

Rice signed for Arsenal in the summer for £105 million, and recently scored in a win over Manchester United.

Kane joined Bayern Munich for a fee of £86 million plus add-ons, and is set to face United in the Champions League this week, and you would not get against him scoring against the Red Devils’ leaky defence.

READ: Confirmed Manchester United transfers in, out, loans, releases, youth for 2023/24

SV Werder Bremen v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga
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Neville says United needed Kane or Rice

Neville says he never really believed United would push to sign either player, despite needing both.

He said: “I never thought for one second they would challenge Manchester City and Arsenal from the players that they brought in.

“That would have needed a Harry Kane-type signing or Declan Rice, as an example. They didn’t have the money to do those types of signings.”

Manchester United’s net spend this past summer was £110.85 million. Perhaps a deal for Kane could have been struck, if David de Gea was kept, and no deal was done for Mason Mount. But it would have been a one player transfer window.

The club have spent big on English players in recent years without success. Harry Maguire cost £80 million and £73 million on Jadon Sancho.

United paid £64 million for Rasmus Hojlund, who is a longer term solution than Kane. This could be a move which pays off down the line. But right now, there will have to be some patience, and that is not a word usually associated with the hysteria which surrounds United.

Neville added: “I was worried at the start of the season. There was this feeling Manchester United had got their business done early in the transfer window and that was good, but I was concerned the players they had brought in wouldn’t improve them from last season.”

Woeful start

Manchester United have won two and lost three games to start the season. The two wins, over Wolves and Nottingham Forest, have both felt very fortunate too. United have a negative goal difference of minus four.

There is no guarantee it gets better either. A midweek game to Bayern and Kane awaits, and then an away trip to Burnley next Saturday night could be an uncomfortable one.

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