Manchester United boss Ferguson refuses to surrender the long-term fight to Manchester City

Sir Alex Ferguson will not give up competing with Manchester City even if Roberto Mancini leads the blue half of Manchester to the Premier League title this weekend, with the Daily Telegraph reporting that Ferguson is already plotting how to overhaul City next season.

City hold a slender advantage over United going in to the final day of the Premier League season, topping the table by virtue of an eight goal margin in goal difference. If City defeat Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium then the outcome of United’s final game at Sunderland will make no difference to the destination of the title. United must hope City slip up against the R’s and they can capitalise at the Stadium of Light.

Ferguson however is already thinking beyond this season. Admitting that the trophy is likely to be draped in ribbons of blue and white rather than red and black, Ferguson pointed to the youthful nature of his squad as reason to be optimistic for next season and beyond. He said: “The situation at the moment means we are probably going to lose out this season, but we’re not looking as though it’s the end of an era for us. In many ways, it’s the start for many of the young players here.

But we have our ideas about where we are going in the summer and I think we will be ready for the challenge next year, no matter what. Whether that is as champions or runners-up, we will be ready for it. But we are certainly not going away, that’s for sure.

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