Manchester United chief executive David Gill fully expects Manchester City to bounce back next season, but has warned the club to expect a stern battle in the upcoming transfer market.
United caught the imagination of last summer's transfer window with the capture of Robin van Persie from Arsenal, and Gill has indicated that the club will be looking to take the market by storm in a similar manner this summer in a bid to fend off a potentially resurgent City.
"I'm sure they'll be back," Gill told the Manchester Evening News. "They've got some ambitious plans on their investment and their academy. That's what the excitement of the Premier League is.
"I'm sure all the clubs who missed out this season will be doing business in the summer - as we will be - with a view to come back all guns blazing next year."
Following years of excessive spending in bringing some of Europe's established stars to the Etihad Stadium, City endured a relatively quiet summer transfer window last year, bringing Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Scott Sinclair and Matija Nastasic to the club. Meanwhile, United secured the marquee signing of van Persie,
Gill believes that deals such as the one that brought to the Dutchman to Old Trafford are an indication of the club's healthy ownership. While there are still a number of fans opposed to the club's American owners, Gill maintains that the Glazers have proved their worth to the club over the past years.
"There are still a small number of dissenters and they will always be there and they have had long held views which are not going to change," Gill added.
"We respect those. Ultimately, someone has to own the club. I think the Glazers have definitely demonstrated that since they have taken over, they have showed that what happens on the pitch is crucial to the club's ambitions off it.
"They are very mindful of the traditions and the history of the club and people. Clearly if you own an asset and it comes up with winning a 10th title, it's unbelievable."
Gill, who has held the role of chief executive since 2003, will leave the club at the end of the summer, and will be replaced by current executive vice chairman Ed Woodward.