Man City not a threat – Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson believes Manchester City will struggle to challenge United next season

Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed local rivals Manchester City as a major threat to Manchester United’s Premier League title this season.

City manager Mark Hughes has this summer spent millions on building a squad to break into the top four.

But United boss 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 City’s latest addition to a squad which that includes Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz and former United favourite Carlos Tevez.


Striker Adebayor signed from Arsenal for about £25m, midfielder Barry was bought from Aston Villa for £12m and City paid Blackburn about £18m for Paraguay international Santa Cruz.

Hughes is keen to bring in Chelsea captain John Terry, while an approach for Joleon Lescott has already been rejected.

But Ferguson believes the only place their rivals can challenge his side is in the battle for headlines.

Speaking from his side’s tour in Malaysia, he added: “We are being challenged for the back pages.

“Manchester City are getting all the back page stories and they will hold that position for the rest of the season because there is a lot of interest in what they have done and a lot of speculation about whether it is going to work.
“They have bought a lot of high profile players but they have 10 strikers.

“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 (Hughes) pick a team? We are all interested.”

Manchester City players with boss Mark Hughes
Hughes (centre) is still looking to strengthen his squad

City’s spending has been second only to Real Madrid this summer – following the high-profile signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Kaka.

But Ferguson sees definite differences between the way the money is used at both clubs.

“Real Madrid are different to Manchester City,” he said.

“They have an unusual culture of not really bothering about money because they can use their name to write off debt. No Spanish bank will ever close them down.

“Manchester City’s culture is about cash. It is about having money and using it.”

Ferguson also believes Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger could find this coming season a struggle, having sold their star striker to City.

He said: “Arsenal have the biggest job to do because they have sold Adebayor and don’t seem to have the money the rest have got.

“How Arsene develops his team will be his biggest test.

“The one thing we know about Arsenal is that they will play some of the best football you will see and they will create chances.

“They could easily re-establish themselves and challenge for the league again.”