Roy Keane has come to the defence of David Moyes, claiming the decline of Manchester United is down to former boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his policy of ‘cutting corners’ in the transfer market, reports the Express.

Former captain Keane believes the club’s failure to bring in enough top class players in recent years has caught up with them, and has left David Moyes with a huge rebuilding job.

Keane said: “United need five or six players. They’ve kind of cut corners in terms of transfers in the last few years, they’ve not gone out and got the big players and it has just caught up with them this year.

“It has maybe surprised everyone how far they’ve slipped behind teams but now it’s a case of rebuilding. If it happens in the summer then instead of being fearful of it, embrace it – it’s exciting. These can be exciting times for United. Get them back to the very top where they belong.”

Seventh placed United travel to Arsenal tonight, with the team in real danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in almost two decades.

But Keane believes Moyes – Ferguson’s nominated successor – needs time to turn the club around.

“The man [Moyes] deserves plenty of time,” he said. “People have been afraid to use the word that there might be ‘rebuilding’ going on but that’s exactly the word I would use.

“On form at this moment in time you have to say the Champions League is a long way off for Manchester United. Would I fancy them for it? Probably not. But they’re still a threat, they’re still there and, with their big players like Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie back up to speed with their fitness, United will be a dangerous team if they can get their act together over the next month or two.”

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