Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas believes Manchester United sent out an ominous statement of intent when they added Robin van Persie to their squad over the summer.
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Villas-Boas takes his improving Spurs side to Old Trafford on Saturday expecting he will square up to the most potent strikeforce in the Premier League.
And the former Chelsea boss, who will attempt to become the first Spurs manager to win at Old Trafford for 23 years, said van Persie adds the finishing touch to an already dangerous array of firepower.
"When you can afford to buy one of the best strikers in the Premier League and further strengthen a squad that is already so good, it sends a strong signal to everybody," Villas-Boas said.
"A United team that can call upon van Persie, Chicharito, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney will make it difficult for any opponent. It shows an intent from them to play with two strikers up front in the future and it is a massive attacking option that they have. United can put you into very difficult positions when players of this quality are performing well."
Villas-Boas has confirmed that winger Gareth Bale has shaken off his minor injury worries and will take his place in the Spurs line-up at Old Trafford, while adding that Hugo Lloris will continue his bench-warming duties behind first-choice keeper Brad Friedel.
"Hugo is not frustrated by this situation," he said. "I don't expect to talk any more about this with him. Brad is playing well and he will start for us at Old Trafford."
Although Gary Lineker was the last Spurs striker to score a winning goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford, it seems as if Villas-Boas believes he can re-write the history books this weekend.
"What we want to do at Old Trafford is achieve a result that will make us very proud," he said. "It is not the crucial game of the season because even if we win there, it does not mean the season is complete, but the aim to try and get a win. If we do that, it will shorten the distance between ourselves and the teams at the top and also allow us to take advantage of the fact that Arsenal play Chelsea this weekend and both cannot win.
"We will not shy away from our responsibilities and will play the game in an open way to try and make the result. I like my teams to try and play with adventure, but we obviously know it is going to be extremely difficult to win there. It's all about making steady progress for us at this moment."
Meanwhile, Villas-Boas would welcome the appointment of a director of football at Tottenham.
The Portuguese coach has revealed he has been in discussions with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy over the arrival of a senior figure - who will oversee football operations at White Hart Lane - and that he would have no reservations at the prospect of working alongside someone as he finds his feet at Tottenham.
"I worked with a director of football at both Porto and Academica and had no problem with it, but this decision lies with the club and I will leave this decision up to the chairman," Villas-Boas added. "It is a position I respect a lot in football, but I appreciate it is an uncommon position in English football.
"When a club makes an appointment like this, they need to think about the long-term future, so it is more of a club decision rather than asking whether I would accept someone in this position."