Gary Neville says Edinson Cavani's imminent arrival at Manchester United is an exciting and intriguing transfer - but questioned the process behind the deal and labelled the club's approach to business in this window as "not good enough".
Speaking on co-commentary as Manchester United were ripped apart by Tottenham in the first half of their Super Sunday clash at Old Trafford, Neville reiterated his belief United's failure to act quicker in the transfer window has left them playing catch-up with their rivals.
"Manchester United came out of lockdown with class. They then finished third in the league. There was then a couple of months before the start of the season where I believe they grabbed defeat from victory when they didn't strengthen," he said.
"And now they are scrambling on the final day of the deadline to do something about it. It's not good enough. Every other club has done their business."
Neville: Cavani will be welcomed
Cavani is a free agent after leaving Paris Saint-Germain earlier this year and the Uruguayan is closing in on agreeing a two-year contract to move to Old Trafford.
The forward has been one of the most prolific strikers in Europe over the past decade and Neville is optimistic about what he could achieve in the Premier League.
However, Neville - who has been critical of United's failure to bring in more players so far in this window - suggested the decision to sign the 33-year-old was unlikely to be part of United's plan going into this transfer window.
"They need a striker, they need a forward," Neville said. "My emotion when I heard about it was the feeling that I had when Radamel Falcao signed, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic signed, when Odion Ighalo signed. It's very last minute, it's come out of nowhere.
"There is an element of thrill to it, an element of intrigue, excitement because he's one of the world's great strikers over the last five to 10 years, and you hope he can come out here [at Old Trafford] and set the stadium and the Premier League on fire.
"There is an element also of how have we ended up here?
"Manchester United, two or three months ago, had had a great coronavirus period, the club had acted with great class, Marcus Rashford's work, finished third in the league and you thought, 'right, that's as close they can get to [Manchester] City with this team they've currently got, and if they can go and get three or four signings they can potentially close the gap this season'.
"We're here on the eve of the transfer deadline day and nothing's been done apart from Donny van de Beek, who at this moment in time can't break into a packed midfield.
I don't think it was in the strategy, I don't think it was in the plan, and I certainly don't think it could have been because something like this couldn't have been kept quite as long as it has been.
"Cavani will be welcomed. He's different from the other strikers, I hope he comes fit, firing. He's always worked hard, he's always had a great attitude and work ethic, so I don't think there's a doubt around that. He's not the type to come for a swansong or a pay-off, I think he's got more about it. We had great tussles against him with England. I don't think he'll come with anything other than to try to prove himself.
"It's just a case of I don't think it was in the strategy, I don't think it was in the plan, and I certainly don't think it could have been because something like this couldn't have been kept quite as long as it has been."
'Indecision having psychological impact'
After watching Manchester United's 6-1 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday, a performance he labelled "pathetic, spiritless and spineless", Neville believes United's indecision in the transfer market is having a psychological impact on the players already at Old Trafford.
"There is no excuse for those players who were out on that pitch today, they were absolutely pathetic," the former United captain told Sky Sports. "Their body language was terrible; it was spiritless and spineless.
"When you've got a squad that lacks resilience and know-how to win games, the off the pitch stuff with Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood, the darkness surrounding recruitment and not getting players when Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham are signing players, the minute Spurs went two goals up it was almost as if all those negative thought came and drained every bit of confidence out of them. It's not right, but that is what happened.
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"I just feel Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did achieve the maximum with these players but getting them to third, there was no way he was going to get to the level of Liverpool or Manchester City.
"It was good United finished third last season, they were on the shoulders of Liverpool and City, but they needed to make sure they got closer. City have spent £150m and Liverpool have strengthened with Thiago and Jota.
"They have pulled away psychologically before the season even started, and the psychological damage of not bringing players in is hamper the current squad. The club's job is to build a title-winning team, those are the standards for Manchester United."
Transfer Deadline Day - October 5
The summer transfer window closes at 11pm on Monday, October 5 with a feast of activity throughout the day involving the biggest names in football.
Some of the highlights to enjoy on Sky Sports News and across our Sky Sports platforms:
- Breakfast with David Ginola and Rachel Yankey
- The Football Show Special with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole
- Countdown with Harry and Jamie Redknapp
- Supporters at the heart of the show with Sky VIP fan wall
You can also follow the stories on Sky Sports' digital platforms, with our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.
Here's all you need to know about Deadline Day and how to keep across all the deals and drama with Sky Sports.