Sir Alex has placed Tottenham’s Luka Modric and Lille’s Eden Hazard at the top of his shopping list, but is well aware the two players, who would cost a combined £65 million, are also being coveted by United's bitter rivals.
The Red Devils' boss has confirmed he will be looking to secure the signings of three players in the summer, as Darren Fletcher is still struggling will illness and veteran pair Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are fast approaching 40.
Manchester City have history when it comes to beating rival clubs to players, thanks to their financial muscle in the transfer market. Samir Nasri was close to moving to Old Trafford but was swayed by City’s offer of £175,000 a week. City also secured the signatures of James Milner and Gareth Barry from right under the noses of Chelsea and Liverpool, respectively.
Sir Alex told The Mail on Sunday: “‘No one can match City’s financial power, no one. The transfer market has been insane for a while and I think clubs like City create that. They can buy all the players, and put a marker on all the players, it makes it difficult then for clubs to be reasonable.
“There’s no doubt we’ll be bringing players in. Maybe two or three, it depends on the kind of market we’re dealing with. We have to accept the situation, so we do it a different way.
“We will try and look at younger players with the potential to develop at the club. That is what we are good at. Scholes and Giggs are coming to the end. Players like them don’t fall off trees.”
With Hazard being watched by so many of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Tottenham and Chelsea, the United boss may reportedly turn his attention to Argentine playmaker Nicolas Gaitan of Benfica.