Former Manchester United star Phil Neville has backed Jose Mourinho to make signing a central defender as a priority. He has also claimed the Portuguese tactician will complete three signings in the January transfer window.

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea manager took charge at Old Trafford last summer and added four new players to his squad. This includes centre-back Eric Bailly, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and midfielder Paul Pogba.

Bailly picked up a knee injury in the Red Devils' 4-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in October. The Ivory Coast international earlier confirmed he will be out of action for two months, while Mkhitaryan has struggled to break into the squad in his first season in the Premier League.

"I think it's massive. I think you can tell by the way Jose is speaking that he still thinks there's a lot more to come from this team," Neville told the BBC, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

"I still think they're missing a central defender. I think in January there will be two or three players bought by the club."

United are sixth in the Premier League table with 19 points after 12 games. They have failed to win their last three league matches at home, where they were forced to settle for a point against Stoke City, Burnley and Arsenal.

Neville believes Mourinho has a massive task of rebuilding the squad, but suggests his former club are not too far away. He has urged the 20-time English champions to start winning their games and go on a run in order to recover from their slow start to this season.

"I think it's a big, big rebuilding job. Having watched the games against Stoke, Burnley and against Arsenal at the weekend, United could have won all three of those games," he added.

"So they're not as far away as people are making out. They need to start winning games and go on a run."

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho signed four players in his first transfer window at Manchester United Getty