Jose Mourinho could leave Manchester United if summer struggles in the transfer market lead to another season of boring football behind the title pace, says Paul Scholes.
The Portuguese faced criticism of his methods in 2017-18, with the Red Devils considered to have adopted a defensive mindset as they ended the campaign empty-handed.
A runner-up finish in the Premier League was secured, as was a place in the FA Cup final, but more is expected of a global heavyweight despite a tough pre-season.
Mourinho has had to work with a depleted squad on the back of the 2018 World Cup, while making only minor tweaks in his recruitment drive, with Scholes conceding that a proven performer now finds himself in “a difficult position”.
The Old Trafford legend told Sky Sports: "Do I think he will leave? I've absolutely no idea. He needs to get off to a good start this season, there's no doubt about that.
"I think a lot will depend on how his team plays, you know. If his team don't do well, if they're not playing well, if they're not entertaining people, they're not challenging for the league, then he possibly could go.
"But he's got great experience, he's been at top clubs, he's been in difficult positions before, he's in a difficult position now I think, but he needs to try to find a way to get out of it."
United are set to open the new season at home to Leicester on Friday, with it imperative that they get off to a flying start.
Scholes, though, fears that even a morale-boosting win over the Foxes will do little for the Red Devils’ cause in the long run, with rival outfits looking stronger and more likely title contenders.
He added: "When you look at Manchester City, possibly Liverpool, I don't think they [United] have the quality of those two teams at the minute. Liverpool have made some really good signings. United finished above them last season.
"I just don't see United getting closer to City. City are a really good side, great manager, some great players, a way of playing that they all know about and Manchester United seem to be not too sure what's going on.
"You don't really know the team, you don't really know the players, you don't know how they're going to perform from one week to the next. So I hope I'm wrong, but I don't see them challenging for the league this year."