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Manchester United won't break into the top two this season, according to Gary Neville, who says the Red Devils are still three players short of becoming an elite force again.
They will be expected to pick up from where they left off when the Eagles arrive in Manchester, despite having been surprisingly quiet in the summer transfer window.
United have only managed to bring in Donny van de Beek from Ajax so far, while the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal have strengthened significantly in a bid to close the gap on reigning champions Liverpool.
The Merseyside outfit have also been making some shrewd moves in the market, bringing inKonstantinos Tsimikas and Thiago Alcantara from Olympiacos and Bayern Munich respectively, but Solskjaer has insisted thathe is content with his current squad.
Neville cannot see his old clubfiguring in this season's title race unless the Norwegian continues to add to his ranks, and doesn't believe that Chelsea are ready to compete for English football's top prizeeither despitetheir recent spending spree.
"I think Manchester United are in a similar position to Chelsea. They've got to make progression from last season, and I don't have that expectation as a United fan that they're going to break that top two this season," the United legend told Sky Sports.
"I don't feel they're quite ready but they have to make sure that gap is smaller. The have to make sure they close the gap on the top two and make sure they're progressing.
"A striker, a right winger and a centre-half is a must. At some point in the next couple of years, Manchester United and Chelsea need to be ready to strike when Manchester City and Liverpool drop below that standard. That's probably going to be when Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp leave."
One man who continues to be linked with a move to Old Trafford is Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, who has reportedly already agreed personal terms with the Red Devils.
However, BVB's £120 million ($150m) valuation of the England international is proving to be a sticking point in negotiations, and Goal understands that United are now looking at alternative targets.