Manchester United manager David Moyes' fears over the insufficient quality of his squad will be tempered by an estimated £100m investment by the club's owners the Glazer Family across the next two transfer windows, according to The Times.
Defeat to West Bromwich Albion condemned United to their worst start to a league season for 24 years and ahead of the Champions League trip to Shakhtar Donetsk Moyes said the current squad was "five or six players" short of being realistic contenders to win the competition.
Moyes endured a disastrous transfer window during which he failed to land his primary targets including Cesc Fabregas and Ander Herrera, while United's pursuit of Marouane Fellaini, who they signed on deadline day, was littered with problems.
United are still to make definitive plans ahead of January and will wait to see whether their insipid start to the campaign continues into the fulcrum of the season. Moyes' side face Sunderland, Southampton, Stoke City and Norwich City in October.
The Premier League champions are expected to return for bids for both Leighton Baines, who remains at Everton despite two bids from United in the summer, and Athletic Bilbao's Herrera.
FC Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala has also been heavily linked with a move for Old Trafford with both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand facing questions over their long-term future at the club. Both players' contracts expire at the end of the season.
With United having finished 11 points clear of Manchester City in claiming their 20th league title last season and been knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage after a marginal and controversial defeat to Real Madrid, Moyes' admission that his side are lack a number of world class players is a damming assessment of the current ranks at the Theatre of Dreams.
"To win the Champions League, you need five or six world-class players," he said.
"Look at Bayern Munich, they have it. Look at Barcelona, who had it in the past and Real Madrid, who have maybe got it now. That's the level you have to be at to win it. We've not got that yet but what we have got is experience."
The retirement of Paul Scholes and the addition of Fellaini are the only significant changes in the United squad from last season, perhaps an indication as to Sir Alex Ferguson's achievement last year in winning the league title in his final year in management.