CHINA - Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled big-spending Manchester City a "small club" who are "arrogant" and "stupid" as his side prepared to wrap up their Asian tour yesterday.
In an interview with English newspapers during United's pre-season tour , the Scot said it would be tricky for City to break into the Premier League's top four despite their huge summer spending spree.
And he expressed anger at a prominent city-centre billboard in Manchester that says "Welcome to Manchester" under a sky-blue graphic of Argentina's Carlos Tevez, who crossed to United's bitter rivals this summer.
"The billboard? It's City isn't it?" said Ferguson, quoted in the Sunday Mirror.
"They are a small club, with a small mentality. All they can talk about is Manchester United. That's all they've ever done and they can't get away from it. "What they are doing now is just stupid," he said.
"That arrogance will be rewarded in the right way. It is a go at us. That's the only thing it is.
"They think taking Tevez away from Manchester United is a triumph.
"It is poor stuff, although I thought he would go to City a long time ago."
Ferguson said City's biggest triumph was getting the players to Eastlands and that they had gone there because of the money.
"I don't know if they will do anything. It is not easy to get in that top four so the biggest success of all is to just get the players there. They might not get beyond that," he said, according to the Independent on Sunday.
"They have come because of the money. That is the big attraction to people nowadays. That is the reason they have gone there.
"At the last minute, from what I can gather, Emmanuel Adebayor or his agent phoned us after he had agreed a deal with City and then he did the same to Chelsea.
"You ask why is he going to Manchester City and it can only be for one reason. He was desperate to get to Chelsea and he was desperate to get to us."
Ferguson said Arsenal faced a challenge to their top-four status but that might not come from Manchester City but from Everton or Aston Villa instead.
Defending Premier League champions Manchester United wraped up their Asian tour with a match against Hangzhou Greentown yesterday after a raucous reception from fans on Saturday.
They were looking for a clean sweep after two wins in Malaysia and one in South Korea. - Sapa-AFP