Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester City will pose little threat to Manchester United’s domestic supremacy this season.
City manager Mark Hughes has spent lavishly this summer in an attempt to build a squad squad capable of breaking into the top four.
But United manager Ferguson said: “It won’t be easy for them to win anything, even with the players they have bought.
“I can’t look at them as our main competitors. Liverpool and Chelsea are our main competitors.”
Emmanuel Adebayor is the latest addition to City’s squad, which has already been boosted by the arrival of Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz and former United favourite Carlos Tevez.
Striker Adebayor was signed from Arsenal for about £25m, midfielder Barry came from Aston Villa for £12m, Paraguayan frontman Santa Cruz cost £18m from Blackburn, while City paid £25m for Tevez.
Many United fans are unhappy at Tevez’s departure but Ferguson feels the Argentine was not worth the money.
“I didn’t think he was worth £25m – that’s just my judgement, maybe I am wrong,” added Ferguson.
“The fans quite rightly have their heroes and I respect them, so I was happy to go along with a deal as long as it was the right one – but he was simply not worth £25m.”
Hughes has also had an approach for Everton’s Joleon Lescott rejected and is keen to land Chelsea captain John Terry.
Ferguson says Terry would be a good addition.
“If I was in City’s shoes, with all that kind of money, then I would have a go at that,” he continued. “I think it’s sensible. He has experience and is the England captain.
“For some reason they must have known that he was interested. I am sure there have been plenty of phone calls going on.”
But Ferguson still believes Hughes will have a hard time trying to make his team gel.
“They have bought a lot of high-profile players but they have 10 strikers,” said the Scot.
“That is a hell of a lot. I have not spoken to all the managers but the one or two I have are saying ‘Who are they going to leave out?’
“How does he pick a team? We are all interested.”