The Old Trafford club have focused on youth since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the reins as permanent manager earlier this year.
Solskjaer has given academy talents like Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe first-team opportunities, while their major summer signings were 21-year-olds Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and 26-year-old Harry Maguire.
United have been linked with moves for the likes of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and Salzburg striker Erling Haaland recently, and Phelan admitted the club are still intent on bringing in the best players available.
“I think there has got to be a blend,” he told Standard Sport.
“I think Manchester United still do want superstars, but I think they still want to see them coming through and progressing and being part of something special.
“The fans are changing all the time. We’ve got senior fans, old age pensioners, young fans, but it’s become far more global than it’s ever been and I think all those people understand what Manchester United is all about otherwise they wouldn’t support them.
“They don’t just support them for the superstars, they support them because they can embrace the whole tradition of the football club.”
Phelan is convinced that Solskjaer remains the right man to lead the club forward after a poor period of form recently, which came to an end with a 2-1 home win over Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham on Wednesday.
The assistant, who previously worked at the club under Sir Alex Ferguson, believes things are heading in the right direction.
“I think it is a little bit different to the time before,” he said. “But I think all the ingredients are there.
“They are there and we can add to them with the right backing and the right push forward.
“I want to do it all again because it was a great ride the first time around.
“So the potential is there with the right approach now and the right attitude - I think Manchester United has a bright future again.”
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