Let $(M^3,g)$ be a compact Riemannian 3-manifold and let $f\in C^{\infty}(M)$ be a smooth function. Does there exist a constant $k>0$ (possibly depending on $M$ and $g$) such that $f$ can be $C^2$-approximated by Morse functions whose number of critical points is at most $k$?

In other words, if we define $\mathrm{Morse}_k(M,g)\subset C^{\infty}(M)$ to be the subset of Morse functions which have at most $k$ critical points, then *can $k$ be chosen large enough so that $\mathrm{Morse}_k(M,g)$ is dense in $C^2(M)$*?

If such a $k$ exists, then the Morse inequalities give a necessary *lower bound* for $k$ in terms of the total Betti number, namely
$$k \geq b_0(M)+b_1(M)+b_2(M)+b_3(M).$$
I am, however, asking about the existence of an *upper bound* for $k$.

Any references would be appreciated.