By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Louis van Gaal has made the shock admission that Manchester United are not good enough to win the Champions League this season.

United are three points behind Premier League leaders Leicester as they prepare for Tuesday’s must-win Champions League clash at Wolfsburg.

But Van Gaal has claimed that his team are unlikely to go all the way even if they make it to the lucrative knock-out stages of Europe’s leading competition.

‘I don’t think that we are able to win the Champions League now,” Van Gaal said at his media conference on Saturday. “Maybe next year when we strengthen our selection again.

‘We have to go as far as possible but normally we are not good enough to win the Champions League. When we are there, we shall try to do everything. But you have to be realistic also.”

Van Gaal’s assessment might frustrate United supporters, who are already discontented by the team’s style of play, with the team booed off the pitch after their goal-less draw against West Ham on Saturday.

United have spent more than £250million on new players since the Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford in the summer of 2014, including the headline purchases of Angel di Maria, Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Red alert: Rooney is set to miss the Wolfsburg match with an ankle injury

Red alert: Rooney is set to miss the Wolfsburg match with an ankle injury

Van Gaal’s side will travel to Germany for Tuesday’s pivotal clash without possibly eight first-teamers, including skipper Wayne Rooney, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Morgan Schneiderlin (hip) and Paddy McNair (ankle) joined the casualty list when they sustained injuries against West Ham on Saturday.