Manchester United have ‘wasted a lot of money’ in recent years, says Cardiff boss Neil Warnock, who has questioned whether the Red Devils are any better off than when David Moyes was manager.
United have not won the Premier League since 2013, when Sir Alex Fergusson led them to the title in his last season as manager before retirement.
His successor Moyes did not finish a full season in charge and, after Ryan Giggs’ brief spell as caretaker, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho were appointed with mixed success.
Over £400 million ($521m) has been spent on players since Moyes’ sacking and Warnock feels current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure will be judged on how well his signings perform.
Speaking ahead of Cardiff’s trip to United on Sunday, Warnock said: “He (Solskjaer) will be judged on the signings he makes and how much money they spend, because they have wasted a lot of money.
"I was listening to David Moyes last week at some stage... are they any better off than when David was there? And they've spent about £400m since then.
"You've got to have a structure where you try and sign the best players that can be available for your job to actually move the club forward. It does seem that over the past few years, I'm not sure how much thought has gone into some of the signings.
"It might take - people say two or three windows - I think it could be 10 years.
"I can't see them catching the two top clubs up for another four or five years. But I think they will."
Several expensive signings that United have made failed to make the desired impact upon joining the club, including the likes of Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez, while others such as Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have been inconsistent.
United are currently 29 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, and 28 points behind arch-rivals Liverpool, which shows just how big a challenge Solskjaer and his Red Devils face in trying to close the gap to the top two.
The best result United can hope to get from this season is a fifth-place finish in the league, but that depends on Arsenal failing to beat Burnley and Solskjaer’s men being able to take all three points from Cardiff at Old Trafford on Sunday.