Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has acknowledged the need to "strengthen" this summer to challenge Manchester City in the Premier League.
United's home defeat to Leicester on Tuesday saw rivals City clinch their third Premier League title in the last four years under Pep Guardiola.
Solskjaer sent a clear message to the club's hierarchy after the result, saying that they will need to be active in the upcoming transfer window to close the gap on their rivals.
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"If you want to take up the challenge with them we need to strengthen our squad," he said.
"The whole season has given us optimism and room for optimism but also improvement. Congratulations to City. They have had a fantastic season. I am very pleased with my boys that have made it to the last 10 days with a Manchester City side ahead of us that are lauded as the best in Europe.
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"We want to take the next step and it might be that we need a couple more to strengthen the squad."
The recently appointed pairing of football director John Murtough and technical director Darren Fletcher will now face the task of getting the deals done to give Solskjaer the means of turning his side into a team that can fight for the title.
Borussia Dortmund duo Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland have both been linked with United, along with Tottenham striker Harry Kane.
With a clash with Liverpool coming up on Thursday, Solskjaer fielded a weakened side in the 2-1 loss to Leicester and he was clearly not happy with the congested fixtures.
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"It can’t be like this again. We can’t play like Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday, it is impossible that’s the reason we made the changes. It’s unheard of at this level," he said.
Reflecting on the performance against the Foxes, with Mason Greenwood scoring the only goal for United, Solskjaer added: "We started off slow as you might expect because they have not had any time to prepare for the game but after they scored we had nothing to lose.
"We played some very good stuff and I was pleased with it. You see the leadership with Nemanja [Matic]. Mason [Greenwood] looked like a seasoned professional and he is only 19.
"We have not had too much time to prepare and we went into half-time pleased out didn’t get out of the traps and they got a goal from a corner that should have been a throw."
Additional reporting by Reuters
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