Manchester United have been forced to splash the cash to get the right calibre of players in the modern market.
And club legend Andy Cole has warned they face the same issue if they want to land a new centre-back to partner Harry Maguire.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Cole’s former team-mate, is reportedly eyeing a new defender as part of his transfer business.
Bu the club are seemingly unable to offload defenders such as Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones for the right price.
And they are also unwilling to meet Borussia Dortmund’s asking price for Jadon Sancho indicating their clear reluctance to pay over the odds.
That combination means Cole believes a new centre-back addition is unlikely this transfer window as top stars in that position now demand fees in line with attacking talent.
Cole, speaking to the Daily Star following his involvement in BGC Charity Day 2020, raising millions for charity including Oasis Charitable Trust, said: “Manchester United are a team that look to add players in every season.
“We keep talking about a centre-back, but United have so many centre-backs at the moment I’m not sure how many more than can actually buy.
“Especially nowadays, centre-backs seem to be more expensive than centre-forwards so it’s a challenge to strengthen any more there. It’ll be interesting to see what they do there.
“Jadon Sancho, if that deal comes off, it would be a coup, but if that deal doesn’t come off then I’ve got no doubts they’ll have their eye on whoever else they feel could make their team stronger.”
Whilst a move for Sancho is looking unlikely and Gareth Bale is in talks over a Tottenham return, Cole is confident United’s existing front-three can cope with the responsibility of getting the goals.
He added: “I think they’re all good enough to hold that responsibility of scoring goals.
“They played very well last season, all contributing and creating chances.
“If they can carry that form into this season, continue doing the right things then I’d like to think Manchester United can kick-on from last season.
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“But it’s a new season, fresh start and you never, ever know what’s going to happen in the Premier League.
“Liverpool ran away with it last season, are they going to do the same this season? Are Man City going to come back at them? Who is going to finish in the top four?
“There are so many different things going on and it’s hard to predict how it’ll play out.”
BGC Charity Day is an annual fundraising event in commemoration of the 658 colleagues and the 61 Eurobrokers employees lost on 9/11, and has raised over $170 million for over 100+ charities and good causes around the world.