Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he does not know whether Manchester United will be ready to challenge for the Premier League title next season.
The 20-time English champions have not finished on top of the pile since Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.
That gap will increase to 30 points if Jurgen Klopp's men beat United at Anfield on Saturday.
And while Solskjaer hopes his team can make up ground next term, he has hinted that it could be too early for them to compete for the crown.
"That is the aim, of course," Solskjaer told reporters. "I’m not saying it is a realistic one. We are behind and a fair rate behind the top one now, who we play on Sunday and we’ll see where we are against them.
"But with a few signings, with the improvement these are making, in the next couple of years we want to do that.
"Supporters and the club alike are not happy with not challenging for the top position in the league. That is where we feel we should be and many of today’s supporters have lived that period where we won the league consistently.
"At the moment we don’t have that type of team. Because in time we've been a bit behind the top ones. It might be that we start with winning a cup and then these players will get that taste.
"That is not what we want to be. We want to be challenging for the league and the Champions League."
United host Wolves in an FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday, before Sunday's trip to Merseyside to face arch-rivals Liverpool.
Solskjaer's side are also in action next midweek, with Burnley set to provide the opposition at Old Trafford.
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