Andy Cole feels Manchester United could do with strengthening but has stressed he sees the current asking price for Jadon Sancho as “crazy money”.
United’s only signing so far in the transfer window, which closes on October 5, has been midfielder Donny Van De Beek.
While they have been targeting Borussia Dortmund’s England winger Sancho, a 120million euros (£109m) asking price has been an issue.
United lost their Premier League opener 3-1 at home against Crystal Palace last weekend, before winning 3-0 at Luton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.
Ahead of Saturday’s league trip to Brighton, former United and England striker Cole told the PA news agency: “I know they’re trying to bring in players that are going to improve the squad, and rightly so.
“Centre-half, centre-forward – I look at those two positions. They are two paramount positions in your team. The midfield area for me is now sorted, there is enough creativity in there to play as well as any midfield in the Premier League, so I think those (other) areas (need strengthening).”
When asked about the Sancho situation, Cole said: “That is big money, crazy money.
“You don’t know when punters are going to be allowed back into the stadiums. Every club must be losing absolute fortunes.
“When you look at a team like Real Madrid spending no money, what does that tell you? They’ve done no business, so you know something is wrong with football.
“Looking at it from outside, I think Man United are saying ‘we are not going to spend money willy-nilly. If the right individual comes in at the right price, yeah, we’ll do it’. But £109m, in this current climate?”
Tuesday’s match saw forward Mason Greenwood score his first goal of the season, two weeks on from being sent home from England duty for a breach of coronavirus guidelines.
Cole is sure the 18-year-old, scorer of 17 goals last season, has “a massive future” and is in good hands at United under the management of his old team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but has urged people to “stop talking about his misfortunes”.
“He has a big future in the game for me,” Cole said.
“And if we’re prepared just to let him play and stop talking about his misfortunes, I think we’ll get the best out of him. Because when we continue to speak about his misfortunes, I think that is when he could have a few problems, worrying about the perception of him.”
It is expected that Saturday’s contest will be another with players taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement – something that did not happen at QPR’s Championship clash with Coventry last week.
QPR subsequently released a statement saying the decision was not made to suggest a lack of support for the movement, while the club’s director of football Les Ferdinand said they felt the gesture’s “impact has now been diluted” and added: “Taking the knee will not bring about change in the game – actions will.”
Asked for his thoughts on Ferdinand’s comments, Cole said: “I understand where Les is coming from. Of course, we need action.
“But until we get those actions – continue to do what we are doing.”
Earlier this month Cole played in the 2020 Soccer Aid match at Old Trafford, coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for the England team.
And the 48-year-old, who has spoken about the tough time he has had physically and mentally following a kidney transplant in 2017, said of his appearance: “That was for me one of the best feelings I’ve had in my life.
“Going through what I have, believing you can’t do it, questioning yourself, and then I did it… It made me feel free again.
“I have a problem, I have to deal with it for rest of my life, but for those minutes I was free, not a care in the world.”