Manchester United boss David Moyes has been warned by Sir Alex Ferguson’s old assistant coach that missing out on Champions League football could be costly in the club’s pursuit of new players.

The Premier League champions have endured a difficult opening to the season, which has left them 11 points adrift of the top four and completely out of the title race.

With a number of areas of the Red Devils’ squad in serious need of strengthening – which will be further highlighted when experienced stars such as Nemanja Vidic leave in under six months’ time – a major summer spending spree at Old Trafford has been mooted.

Moyes is said to be looking at a number of top players, but with rivals from both England and abroad also interested in their targets, it may become difficult for United to get in the calibre of player the need.

Phelan feels that his old club still have pulling power, but that getting into the Champions League could be decisive in who they can sign this summer:

“It might turn into a situation where David Moyes has two shopping lists, he’ll have one for being in Europe and one for not,” he is quoted by The Metro.

“Playing in the Champions League is always an issue. You’re always going to be in competition with other football clubs for big players, whether you’re in Europe or not.’

“The big players want to go to the big football clubs and Manchester United certainly is one of those.

“The attraction to play for Manchester United will still be there though. They’re making the sign that they’ll plough money into the market this summer and pay big salaries, so it’s an interesting time.”

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