Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane believes it would be a blessing in disguise if the Red Devils lost the Premier League to rivals Manchester City.
The champions lost ground in the title race as a 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Monday saw City move top of the Premier League on goal difference.
Keane, who has expressed his concern that his former side are no longer winning the big games, believes failure to defend their league title could prompt a summer spending spree at Old Trafford.
"Maybe if they lose the league it won't be a bad thing," Keane said. "They may say, 'listen, we may have to reinvest again'. They said that last year when they lost to Barcelona and they went out and spent £50 million on [David] De Gea, [Phil] Jones and [Ashley] Young and these are all good players.
"But sometimes you need that big hitter to come in. I have only seen United live four or five times this year - City the other night, in Basel and in Benfica and I have not seen them win yet. They lost at Liverpool in the FA Cup as well.
"You always remember the great sign of United that I played for and watched was that they won a lot of big games. They just seem to be on the losing side of these tight games at the moment. The other night [against City], you were waiting for them to have a late onslaught. It never came."
Keane, who angered Ferguson with his criticism of United in the wake of their Champions League exit to Basel, admits he is unlikely to reconcile his differences with his former manager. "I wouldn't have thought so, no," he said. "He's a busy man and I'm fairly busy."
Keane has refused to back down over his comments regarding the likes of Jones, Chris Smalling and Young.
"To be honest, I don't think it was criticism, Keane said. "I just thought the young players needed to buck up their ideas. The boy Jones was speaking before the game saying 'I've nothing to prove', but my attitude was, every time you walk out on a football pitch, you've something to prove."