Darren Bent has warned Manchester United that Ismaila Sarr is not a suitable alternative to Jadon Sancho and would not ‘dramatically’ improve the squad unlike the England ace.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made Sancho, 20, his top target this summer and is desperate to welcome the Borussia Dortmund forward to Old Trafford.
But Manchester United have failed to agree a fee with Dortmund and, with time running out before the deadline closes, are now looking at alternative targets.
Sarr, 22, has impressed at Watford since joining from Rennes in 2019 but was unable to prevent the club from being relegated to the Championship last season.
Ex-England striker Bent told Sky Sports: ‘It is a statement signing if they go and get Sancho.
‘But I just worry if they don’t get him and they get someone like Sarr instead. Is that going to change the squad dramatically? I don’t think so.
‘They have got all these options in the attacking areas but for me I’d go and get another centre-half and a left-back as well because Luke Shaw hasn’t managed to stay fit and Brandon Williams is still quite young.
‘I am all for Manchester United signing these players but I think at the minute they are concentrated in the wrong areas.’
Matthew Upson, meanwhile, believes Manchester United should sign a new centre-back before the deadline but says it would not be a ‘disaster’ if the club do not add any new players.
‘Sometimes I feel at the moment it is more of a statement from Manchester United to attract a top player to the club more than anything, to show that the club is still one of the biggest clubs in the world,’ he said.
‘In terms of what Solskjaer has got to work with he has got a very strong squad, especially in those areas of the pitch. He has got a lot of attacking talent.
‘The one thing I would say more than anything is they need to strengthen the centre-back position. Lindelof has had a shaky start to the season.
‘They have top young goalkeeper in behind De Gea just waiting for his chance and that mistake.
‘So there is some competitive elements of the team. From that point of view if they don’t sign a player it is not a disaster for Solskjaer.’