The former Red Devils defender says it is "so frustrating" to watch the club struggled to add to their squad while their Premier League rivals splash the cash.
Ferdinand believes that United - who have only signed Donny van de Beek so far - should have followed the example of Frank Lampard and Chelsea, who have spent more than £200 million on players.
He told the Five YouTube channel: "Frank has made signing players like it's the norm, like it's easy - water off a duck's back.
"The difference in the way Chelsea have done their business compared to say my team Man United... there is no noise, there's nothing going on.
"All you're seeing is bang - deal. Little bit of talk, bang - deal. That is what's frustrating for me and all the Man United fans. [Jadon] Sancho was talked about months ago. Still not done, it's so frustrating.
"I'm not saying deals are easy to be done but Chelsea are showing deals can be done if you put the money down and it's all done in the right way."
Ferdinand is not the only United great to criticise the club's transfer window, with Gary Neville suggesting that they have seemed "desperate" in the market recently.
He said: "It's just a thing with United that every time they go for a player in the last four, five, six years it feels they are a little bit desperate."