Paul Scholes has written off Manchester United's Barclays Premier League title chances but believes new manager Louis van Gaal can lead a challenge for the top four.
With the start of the new campaign just around the corner, Scholes is confident United have found the right man to guide them back into the Champions League positions.
However, he does not think they can sustain a title challenge as they lack quality in midfield, despite the signing of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao.
"I find it hard to see them as Premier League title contenders this season," he said in his column for the Independent.
"My instinct is that the title will be between Manchester City and Chelsea, with United, Liverpool and Arsenal in competition for the two remaining Champions League places.
"The chief reason I see little prospect of United winning the title is that they have not signed enough players in this window.
"United needed to buy a top-level midfielder, of which there were very few available this summer. Just two, in fact. And Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos have already made their moves (to Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively)."
However, following last season's disappointing seventh-place finish under David Moyes, Scholes has plenty of faith in Van Gaal - a man he sees as very much in the same mould as Sir Alex Ferguson.
The former England midfielder added: "Louis van Gaal has the respect of the players. He got it as soon as he arrived. This is a man who has managed some huge clubs: Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and he has just taken the Netherlands to third place in a World Cup finals.
"He is a man with presence. He looks a bit of a scary man. Good. Sir Alex Ferguson was a scary man too, at times, and it is possible to push players into performances. From what I've seen in pre-season, he looks a bit mad. He's a bit like a mad genius - he looks a bit crazy."