SIR Alex Ferguson is delighted City have replaced United in the limelight this summer - but doesn't think they will gatecrash the Big Four this season.
The title-holder's boss has been grateful that big-spending Mark Hughes has grabbed most of the recent headlines but thinks once the novelty has worn off - it will be business as usual at the top of the Premier League.
It is 2005 since the table didn't have United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in the top four places.
Four years ago, Everton bucked the trend by temporarily ousting neighbours Liverpool from the elite.
However, the United boss believes the established quartet will still be in their traditional places next May.
"City is where all the interest lies. They have taken us off the back pages," said Sir Alex.
"I am quite happy about that because sometimes you get fed up reading about yourself. I sometimes have to keep us off the back pages.
"But that is where the interest lies this season. They have spent a lot of money. We are all thinking where is it going to go? What is going to happen? The only real thing that matters are results.
"I don't think there is a doubt about the Top Four. Not in my mind. The Top Four is well- established and have all the criteria, experience, quality, good stadia and good squads.
"That Top Four will still be hard to beat. It is hard to get into that top four. Last season Aston Villa came close to threatening it.
"For a long time I thought Villa were going to finish third. It wasn't until late in the season when they started getting injuries and were operating with a far smaller squad than ourselves, Liverpool and Chelsea. Without that, they may have done it because their form was very good until February. They just chilled off towards the end.
"It can be done because these teams like City, Villa, Everton and Tottenham all have history - that is the one thing they have in their favour. Generally, history migrates back to success at some point. We will see."
Fergie has been in a minor war of words on the eve of the season with their Manchester neighbours.
He was angered by City's Carlos Tevez poster stunt calling the Blues a "small club with a small mentality."
His old striker warrior Hughes has used Fergie's words to gee up his own squad.
"Sparky could have used a few of my comments I suppose. He was here long enough. I don't know what it serves to be honest but I am sure it served Mark some purpose in some way," Sir Alex added.
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