Former Manchester United defender David May feels the club will be better off next season if they do not qualify for the Europa League.
United were eliminated from the Champions League on Wednesday and are set to miss out on a route into next term's competition, with them heading for a Barclays Premier League finish outside of the top four.
They are seventh with five games left and securing a spot in the Europa League is the only realistic-looking way they will secure continental football for 2014/15.
That tournament has plenty of detractors, though, and May - pointing to the example of current Premier League leaders Liverpool, who have not played in Europe during this campaign - is in no doubt that United's chances of rebuilding will be improved if they are without that commitment.
Asked about the prospect of the Red Devils participating in the Europa League next season, May told Press Association Sport: "Personally, I wouldn't take it if it were offered to me.
Manchester United: Potential summer transfer targets
Manchester United: Potential summer transfer targets
1/19 Arturo Vidal
The Juventus midfielder is among United's top targets this summer, particularly after impressing for Chile at the World Cup. Having helped his current team secure the Serie A title, Juventus aren't keen on letting him go.
2/19 Marco Reus
Rumoured to be near the top of United's target list, a possible swap deal involving cash and Shinji Kagawa has been mentioned. The Borussia Dortmund player would not be a cheap acquisition, especially given his recent declaration that he wants to stay at Dortmund next season
3/19 Arda Turan
Former manager David Moyes had been seen watching Turan, though his dismissal put a doubt over whether United were still interested. The winger's agent claims an offer has been made, so is the Atletico Madrid winger on his way to Old Trafford?
4/19 Arjen Robben
The Bayern Munich winger has said Van Gaal has offered him a place at Old Trafford if he wants it. Currently he's happy to stay where he is, but things can quickly change.
5/19 Claudio Marchisio
With Paul Pogba highly unlikely to be prised away from Juventus, United's attention could turn to team-mate Claudio Marchisio. The Italian international would provide some class and experience.
6/19 Mats Hummels
With defensive reinforcements high on United's list of priorities, Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels has unsurprisingly been linked with a move to Old Trafford. The German has been earmarked as the ideal replacement for the now-departed Rio Ferdinand and after his impressive showing at the World Cup, he's even more desirable.
7/19 Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane has already snubbed United once in his career, opting instead to join Real Madrid. It would surely take a big offer to prise the classy defender away now.
8/19 Seamus Coleman
Reportedly already the subject of a £15m bid, Seamus Coleman could be the man being lined up as the answer to United's problems at right-back.
9/19 William Carvalho
The Sporting Lisbon midfielder has reportedly been watched 15 times by Manchester United, although the £29m asking price could prove a stumbling block. The Portugal international has also been linked with Arsenal.
10/19 Xherdan Shaqiri
Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri has struggled to force his way into the first team at the Allianz Arena and could be a target for United as well as rivals Liverpool. His impressive displays for Switzerland this summer could make it harder to prise him away.
11/19 Alex Song
Barcelona are understood to be ready to let the former Arsenal player leave this summer. Could provide some strength to United's midfield. Could also bring embarrassment judging by his behaviour at the World Cup.
12/19 Fabio Coentrao
Supposedly came within hours of signing in January, the Portuguese left back could be brought in to provide back-up to Luke Shaw.
13/19 Julian Draxler
A long time Arsenal target, United are reportedly interested in pinching the young German with a bumper offer. Seems unlikely though. Arsenal also strongly interested.
14/19 Sami Khedira
The Germany international is reportedly being pursued by a host of sides, and United might be wise to get in the mix as they look to add some quality to a fairly feeble looking midfield. Real Madrid appear open to letting him go with the 27-year-old having just one year left on his contract. Arsenal and Chelsea are among the others keen on signing the World Cup winner.
15/19 Edinson Cavani
The Uruguayan hitman would prove pricey and tricky to snatch away from PSG and it seems unlikely United have enough to offer him.
16/19 Luciano Vietto
The Racing Club youngster has been impressing in Argentina for some time although a move directly to United would be something of a surprise.
17/19 Santiago Arias
Should a move for Seamus Coleman fail, PSV defender Arias is reportedly being lined up by United. Played for Colombia throughout the group stage of the World Cup.
18/19 Miralem Pjanic
Rumoured to part of a joint bid including teammate Benatia, the Bosnian midfielder is reportedly another on United's large hit list.
19/19 Kevin Strootman
Van Gaal knows Strootman well from working with him in the Netherlands set-up and has indicated he is interested. Roma are reluctant to sell whilst his recovery from a knee injury may prove a stumbling block.
"I think United need to concentrate next season on doing well in the Premier League.
"You look at Liverpool - they could go on and win the Premier League this year, and they will only have played 43 games. They missed out on playing on Thursday nights, and I think it has benefited them.
"If it gives United that extra edge just going in the three domestic competitions then I think it would be best for them to do that.
"Playing in the Europa League is not the be all and end all. It is all about playing in the Champions League and returning to that has to be United's aim next season."
Since the Premier League started in 1992, there has never been a season when United have not competed in Europe.
But May, who was a Red Devils player when the club won the 1999 European Cup final, is comfortable with the idea of that being broken if it helps the club ensure it is only a one-year hiatus from the Champions League.
The 43-year-old, speaking in Manchester in his position as an ambassador for the StreetGames Football Pools Fives, added: "Playing Thursdays and then Sundays doesn't give you a chance really to build any momentum in the Premier League.
"In terms of missing out on Europe for one season, there will be a little bit of a financial loss with that, but I would be happy to stick to the three domestic trophies next term."
The questioning of United boss David Moyes' suitability for the role has only increased over the course of a hugely disappointing campaign following his appointment as successor to Sir Alex Ferguson last summer.
And the Red Devils, beaten six times at home in the league this term, look set for a major overhaul ahead of next season.
But May does not think that should include a change of manager.
Asked if he felt Moyes has to go this summer, May said: "I don't think so.
"We have had injuries and people have got a year older in the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra.
"It is time to bring some young, fresh players in and I'm sure in the summer the manager will do that.
"Playing away, I think United have done really well, but the games they have lost at Old Trafford have been really disappointing.
"You don't like getting beaten at all, especially on your own pitch, but when you get done 3-0 by (Manchester) City and 3-0 by Liverpool, that is tough to take.
"What is even worse is losing home games against the likes of Newcastle, Everton and West Brom - games you would expect to win.
"David Moyes is breaking records for all the wrong reasons. It has been a tough season at home.
"But our away form has been fantastic and if things can be turned around so that Old Trafford is a fortress again, then hopefully we can start seeing improvement."
David May is a supporter of the StreetGames Football Pools Fives, a programme that takes football to young people in disadvantaged communities across the UK. Go tohttp://www.streetgames.org/footballpoolsfives/]