GARY NEVILLE says Manchester United have always lost out on big stars such as Matthijs de Ligt – but he would be delighted if they signed Aaron Wan-Bissaka instead.
The Red Devils are set to miss out on the Ajax defender, 19, with the Dutchman believed to have already agreed terms with Barcelona.
United supporters, desperate to regain their place back at the top, will no doubt be feeling deflated at not being able to attract one of Europe’s most sought-after players.
However, Neville says even Sir Alex Ferguson suffered plenty of near-misses in the transfer market even when the fallen giants ruled the Premier League.
He told Goal: “I think United can still attract top-end players because we’ve seen good players come to the club over the last six or seven years.
“This club will never move away from being a sensational football club, it will have difficult moments and it’s having a difficult time now.
“The money in the game now means you’re always in competition. The club has lost players when it’s been successful to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
“It lost Robben to Chelsea in the mid-2000s, we lost Nasri to City, don’t always think that when Sir Alex Ferguson was here it didn’t happen.
“This club lost players when it was successful to some of the biggest clubs in Europe that are competing with United.
“Don’t think that if United lose players now to Barcelona that this is the first time it’s ever happened, it’s happened before.
“It’s not because of the current plight, or the coach, or the manager, or the current players.
“It just happens sometimes. It happened during successful times too.”
De Ligt would undoubtedly bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s defence as he desperately attempts to bolster his backline this summer.
But Neville, who played at right-back for the club over 500 times, believes Crystal Palace’s England U21 full-back Wan-Bissaka is exactly the type of player his old side should be targeting.
The 44-year-old said: “He’s a massive talent and the club, to be fair, have always signed young, emerging British talent and I don’t think that should change, and it would seem to me that the club would like to go back down that route and he [Wan-Bissaka] is one.
“The price is always going to be big because clubs are wise now to it, you can’t pinch players off clubs for £5m or £6m.
“They are wise to it and have the Premier League funding of £100-odd million so they don’t need to panic, they don’t need extra £5m or £10m, they want £50m or £60m.
“As long as they sign the right talent, I’m always encouraged.”
Neville added: “I’m also encouraged by the fact that Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Scott McTominay are playing.
“I’m encouraged by the fact the club are giving opportunities to young players, even in these times because for me that’s something that’s part of Manchester United’s history, it’s what Manchester United is.
“You just have to sign the right players and give them the platform to perform and the belief and opportunity.
“I’m not in a rush with Manchester United, I don’t have to see them be successful in the next 10 minutes. As long as the principles are right, play good football, bring the right players through, try and win as best you can, don’t give in, good attitude.
“And for me I can wait for two, three, four, five years for the club to be successful. It isn’t a problem for me.
“I lived through 20 years as a fan when I was growing up where the club wasn’t successful. I’m not in a rush I just want to see the right things happen and with Ole here as a coach there’s an opportunity for that to happen.”