The United manager, who correctly predicted last summer that Manchester City would not finish in the top four, is now anticipating a fiercer challenge from his neighbours.
Feeling threatened: Alex Ferguson on the touchline during the Manchester derby
'They will be a lot stronger this time,' he said. 'With the experience of last year behind them they'll be better equipped to go for the title because they will spend big money again.
'Winning the title is going to be more difficult for anybody. This time it's been ourselves and Chelsea and Arsenal for a period, but I think we can all hear the horses' hooves galloping closer.
'In addition to City, I'm expecting Tottenham to be in the mix as well. 'I suppose the neutrals will welcome a situation where the competition is spread further as being good for the game.
'Of course I'm disappointed we didn't quite get there this season, but that doesn't mean we'll be making wholesale changes.
'I believe we are well placed to make another challenge next season. We have brought in some young players over the past couple of seasons and they're going to be a lot better this time. We also have tremendous experience in the side.
'I'd like to make a couple of signings, but the market is very narrow. There will be a few clubs trying the buy the same players and we all can't get what we want.' World Cup 2010: FA chief Lord Triesman accuses Spain and Russia of bid to bribe refereesWenger-Adams, Clough-Taylor, Rooney-Ronaldo, Hughes-Smith, Sheringham-Cole: Footballing partnerships as plausible as Clegg and Cameron. MANCHESTER CITY FC