Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels Manchester United still need to bring in "a player like Bryan Robson" to shore up the midfield ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
The Red Devils finished sixth in the Premier League last term and failed to qualify for the Champions League, while also missing out on major silverware.
Solskjaer was awarded a three-year contract at Old Trafford back in March after a successful interim spell in charge, but was only able to oversee two wins from United's final 12 games across all competitions.
The Norwegian head coach has been trying to rebuild his squad in the summer market and has already added Welsh winger Daniel James and England Under-21s full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to his ranks for a combined sum of £65 million ($82m).
Leicester City's Harry Maguire is also reportedly expected to arrive in Manchester this week , but Solskjaer is not content to stop the spending there.
The 46-year-old is keen on bringing in a midfield leader in the same mould as club legend Robson, who won eight trophies at Old Trafford between 1981 and 1994.
“I never had the honour of playing with Robbo, but we need a player like him in the team," Solskjaer said at a fan event in Perth, as United continue their pre-season tour of Australia.
“We need to win again. We are on the way to building a new squad. We've got new staff in, coaching staff. I believe so much in this club and this project."
Regarding further transfer activity, he added: "Timing is obviously an issue, but we're working, as I’ve said before - of course, we're optimistic."
The Red Devils have been linked with a number of players during the current window, with a focus on securing deals for young, homegrown talent.
Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff has been mooted as a target, while Aston Villa's John McGinn and Stoke City defender Nathan Collins have also been rumoured to have emerged on the club's radar in recent weeks.
Solskjaer went on to insist he believes in the huge project at hand, with United now eyeing a swift return to the top of the Premier League.
“We're waiting for the young ones to come through because we've got so many exciting players and I'm sure we'll see the best of them in the years to come,” he said.
"We can get back to the level we were, definitely. It's such an honour [to manage United] but it is also a great responsibility.
"I'm following some great managers. Sir Alex [Ferguson] was the best and I'm trying to take the best from him and put my own personality on the job. We've got such a big fan-base and such a history that I feel that it is a fantastic opportunity for me.
“I come in at seven thinking I'm the first one and Michael [Carrick] and Kieran [McKenna] are already there planning the sessions. I know this club is going places because of the people we have here."