Gary Neville says he’s not concerned if Manchester United miss out on signing Matthijs de Ligt this summer because it “happens some times”.
The Red Devils are battling with Barcelona to sign the Holland international, but the Catalan club are considered favourites to land him.
Barcelona, who have already signed De Ligt’s compatriot and former Ajax team-mates Frenkie de Jong, can offer the 19-year-old Champions League football next season as well as the chance to win La Liga.
Manchester United on the other hand are in a period of transition and are not as attractive a proposition as they once were a few years ago.
But Neville is arguing that this is immaterial and will not be the reason United miss out on signing De Ligt, should he join Barcelona, because they failed to land big names even in their pomp.
Speaking after the Treble Reunion match aired on BT Sport on the weekend, Neville said: “I think United can still attract top-end players because we’ve seen good players come to the club over the last six or seven years.
“This club will never move away from being a sensational football club, it will have difficult moments and it’s having a difficult time now.
“It lost [Arjen] Robben to Chelsea in the mid-2000s, we lost [Samir] Nasri to City, don’t always think that when Sir Alex Ferguson was here it didn’t happen.
“This club lost players when it was successful to some of the biggest clubs in Europe that are competing with United. Don’t think that if United lose players now to Barcelona that this is the first time it’s ever happened, it’s happened before.
“It’s not because of the current plight, or the coach, or the manager, or the current players. It just happens sometimes. It happened during successful times too.”