Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has said the Red Devils are still looking to bring the game's superstars to Old Trafford.
Phelan told James Robson at the Evening Standard that the club want to sign the world's best players despite manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's willingness to trust in youth.
"I think there has got to be a blend," he said. "I think Manchester United still do want superstars, but I think they still want to see them coming through and progressing and being part of something special."
Phelan returned to the club in December 2018 for a second spell as assistant coach. He originally worked with Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford and explained why he decided to come back, per Robson: "I want to do it all again because it was a great ride the first time around. So the potential is there with the right approach now and the right attitude—I think Manchester United has a bright future again."
Manchester United have never been afraid to invest heavily in top talent and signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James in the last transfer window.
The club also allowed experienced players to depart, including Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera in permanent transfers and Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling on loan.
Solskjaer has been keen to hand his academy players first-team experience. Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Angel Gomes have all appeared in the Premier League this season for the Red Devils.
The United boss has also been happy to use his youngsters in the UEFA Europa League:
Yet Manchester United continue to be linked with some top talent. They are willing to pay £119 million for Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho in January but may miss out to Chelsea, according to Goal's Nizaar Kinsella.
The club are also keen on Red Bull Salzburg's prolific young striker Erling Haaland, according to The Athletic's David Ornstein:
David Ornstein @David_Ornstein
That’s now 27 goals in 19 matches for Erling Haaland, the prolific 19-year-old Norway striker who Manchester United want to sign from RB Salzburg - but their pursuit is complicated by the involvement of ‘super agent’ Mino Riaola @TheAthleticUK https://t.co/yPJf0fexYk #MUFC
Manchester United are having another disappointing season and are languishing in 10th place in the table, already 22 points behind leaders Liverpool after just 14 games.
Investment in the team looks necessary if the club are to regain their former glories, although they will also be hoping some of their promising youngsters can also go on to become a success at Old Trafford.