United legend Paul Scholes mentioned earlier in the week that he thought Manchester United needed "five or six players to get anywhere near the top of the Premier League again".
Below we look at a few players Scholes may have had in mind when he made the comments, players of the class to bring United back up the league under new boss Louis van Gaal.
There can be no doubt of the Bayern Munich midfielder's position at the top of the list, after Scholes himself singled him out. "The first player I’d bring in is Toni Kroos," said the former England man. "He’s a top-class central midfield player." Earlier on in the week it looked like a deal was nailed on, but in the last couple of days the switch was reported to have been called off from United's end.
Cesc Fabregas / Ander Herrera
The former Arsenal captain would be someone Scholes was very much familiar playing against, and he would have undoubtedly made an impression over the years. Fabregas was United's chief transfer target last summer, with Athletic Bilbao youngster Ander Herrera an alternative. The club's inability to secure either led to the rather less impressive deal for Marouane Fellaini. Scholes spoke out on Ed Woodward's failure to secure the club's main transfer targets last year.
More than most people, Scholes would be aware of club's need to replace the outgoing Nemanja Vidic with a top class central defender that would be able to perform a similar job to the Serb. Factoring in that Rio Ferdinand has also left, there is a real lack of proven quality in the centre of defence. Hummels is the most ready made replacement for Vidic around, big, powerful, and dominant defensively, he may not be cheap, but at 25-years-old now would be the time to spend a lot of money on him.
The only Englishman on the list, Shaw has staggered pundits and fans alike with his outstanding form over the last 18 months, emerging from the Saints academy to look the most promising fullback in world football. Whether United keep hold of Evra or not, bringing a player as certain to be a world class player as Shaw would be a vital move, and is why the club are rumoured to be on the cusp of a deal.
United have lacked a real powerful defensive midfielder, who is also capable of bursting forward with purpose on occasion, since Roy Keane left the club. Michael Carrick had a poor season last year, and Darren Fletcher continues to struggle to with reclaiming his form amid fitness concerns. Fellaini, who Moyes signed to become first choice centre midfielder, has looked woefully short of the standard expected at Old Trafford. Strootman is a huge favourite of Van Gaal's, though a deal may be difficult given the player's season ending injury and Roma's impending Champions League season.