• I can wait two, three, four, five years for the club to be successful — it isn’t a problem for me — Neville.
• Neville warned that United will need to shell out tens of millions in order to attract top players, suggesting the rebuild could take a number of transfer windows.
Gary Neville is willing to wait years for Manchester United’s rebirth — as long as the club’s priorities are true.
The former defender is enthused by United’s move back towards landing young, British talent and would accept barren seasons if they are blooded properly.
Swansea City’s Daniel James and Sean Longstaff at Newcastle United are two they want to sign this summer and Neville claimed he is no hurry to demand trophies under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“I can wait two, three, four, five years for the club to be successful — it isn’t a problem for me,” Neville said. “As long as the principles are right: play good football, bring the right players through, try and win as best you can, don’t give in, good attitude.”
“I lived through 20 years as a fan growing up when the club wasn’t successful. I’m not in a rush, I just want to see the right things happen and with Ole here as a coach there’s an opportunity for that to happen. I don’t have to see them be successful in the next 10 minutes. It’s not a bad thing to have five or six years of difficulties. And even then, the club has won three or four trophies so it’s not all bad. It’s never as bad as people think it is or even maybe sometimes even I say it is.”
“Sometimes when you get a slap in the face like the club’s having at the moment it means that you come back stronger.”
Neville warned that United will need to shell out tens of millions in order to attract top players, suggesting the rebuild could take a number of transfer windows. The 44-year-old, speaking after United had raised £1.5million for the club’s foundation at the 1999 Treble reunion, branded Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka ‘a massive talent,’ as United go hunting for a right back.
“It would seem to me that the club would like to go back down that route (signing youngsters),” Neville added.
“The price is always going to be big because clubs are wise now to it, you can’t pinch players off clubs for £5m or £6m. They are wise to it and have the Premier League funding of more than £100m, so they don’t need to panic, they don’t need an extra £5m or £10m. They want £50m or £60m.”
“Leicester will be the same for (Ben) Chilwell and (Harry) Maguire or (James) Maddison. Wan-Bissaka is a massive talent.”
United sources are insistent that Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt is on his way to Barcelona rather than Old Trafford. Neville is adamant that is not a result of United’s current plight.
“The club has lost players when it’s successful to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich,” he said. “Lost (Arjen) Robben to Chelsea in mid-2,000s, we lost (Samir) Nasri to City. Don’t think that when Sir Alex Ferguson was here it didn’t happen."
"Don’t think that if United lose players to Barcelona now that this is the first time it’s ever happened. It’s not because of the current plight, or the coach, or the current players it just happens sometimes. It happened during successful times too.”