Former England and Manchester United midfielder David Beckham insists there will only ever be one team in the city he used to call home.
Unsurprisingly, after six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and one Champions League triumph during his 10 seasons at Old Trafford, the 36-year-old believes the Red Devils will never be overtaken by their big-spending rivals. City finished third in the Premier League last season, nine points behind United, to qualify for the Champions League for the first time.
But while Beckham acknowledged Roberto Mancini's side have developed rapidly in recent years he cannot see them usurping United. He told Sky Sports News: "They're bringing good players in, they've got strong people with a lot of money behind them, so they're going to improve. But they'll never be Manchester United."
He added: "They might be a threat this season but United have got the history, the silverware over the last 20 years.
"There's only one team in Manchester but City I'm sure will be a team to look at going forward."
Beckham also does not believe the potential loss of Carlos Tevez, who still wants to leave after a transfer to former club Corinthians fell through, will harm City too badly.
"Tevez was a really strong player for them last season, so if they lose him it will be disappointing," he added.
"But they've got a lot behind them as an organisation, so they can afford to bring world class players in.
"If they continue to do that I'm sure they'll be strengthened."