Borussia Dortmund and England forward Jadon Sancho is the world’s best young player and Manchester United need to sign top stars, says Rio Ferdinand.
Sancho, 20, is United’s top target but Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc says he will not be leaving.
The Bundesliga club set a deadline of 10 August to agree any deal for Sancho and want about £100m for the player.
“Manchester United should be in the market for the best players,” said former United defender Ferdinand.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Ferdinand said Sancho, who only turned 20 in March, is the “best” young player on the planet “bar none”.
“He is fantastic,” said the former England centre-back. “If he does come he’ll be an added value in terms of quality no doubt.
“Manchester United need top players who are going to have an effect on their first XI and I think Jadon Sancho falls into that category.
“If you look at successful Manchester United sides over the years, successful periods, there were players fighting for every position and if you substitute one out and you brought one in there was no change in the quality or the output.”
Ferdinand won six Premier League titles with United as well as the Champions League in the 2007-08 season.
He says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rediscovered the club’s “attacking, vibrant football” in qualifying for next season’s Champions League and leading his side to the Europa League semi-finals, where they will play Sevilla on Sunday.
“That’s been the most pleasing point,” said Ferdinand.
“He’s ticked a box in terms of getting the team back into the Champions League, which I think would have been his remit at the beginning when he got his hands on the reins.”