Manchester United are only one Virgil van Dijk-esque signing away from being Premier League title challengers, claims Phil Neville.
The Red Devils have slipped a long way off the pace in recent years, with serious regression endured since Sir Alex Ferguson delivered the last of their record-setting 20 top-flight crowns in 2013.
Those at Old Trafford have seen their arch-rivals from across the North West secure domestic dominance this season, with Liverpool surging over the line in style.
Reacting to that success and closing a sizeable gap is the challenge now facing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Co.
Positive progress is considered to have been made in that quest over recent months, with much expected from January signing Bruno Fernandes and World Cup winner Paul Pogba.
United have also seen Anthony Martial find his shooting boots in a central striking role, while Harry Maguire is now club captain on the back of an £80 million ($99m) move in the summer of 2019.
Neville believes the England international centre-half could still do with somebody being brought in alongside him, with there defensive leaks for Solskjaer to plug.
Beyond that, though, a man who helped the Red Devils to six title triumphs in his playing days believes there is not a lot else to be done at the Theatre of Dreams, with the club already possessing plenty of potential to unlock in an exciting young squad.
Neville told Premier League Productions when quizzed on how far away United are from competing with the likes of Liverpool for the most prestigious of prizes: “I think one more signing.
“You think about Liverpool signing [Virgil] Van Dijk and Alisson in goal.
“One or two more signings or [Paul] Pogba and one more signing playing to their absolute best. I think United can get closer.”
Pressed further on the positions in which Solskjaer needs to add, Neville added: “Centre-back, you look at the impact Van Dijk had.
“Maguire has had a really strong impact but another real strong centre-back.
“They’ve still got to be defensively sound. One more signing and United can challenge.”
United have been linked with moves to bolster their ranks of centre-halves, with the Red Devils said to be among those mulling over a bid to prise Senegal international Kalidou Koulibaly away from Napoli.