Roy Keane believes that Manchester United will steal a march on their rivals again this season, and the former skipper is in no doubt that come May next year, the club will be holding onto the title once more.

Keane, who made over 450 appearances for Manchester United and scored 51 goals in his 12 years at the club, knows a thing or two about what it takes to create a successful football side with long term goals.

The midfielder played alongside the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Nicky Butt, and enjoyed much success with the Red Devils, including being a part of the treble winning 1999 side.

"Even Sir Alex Ferguson said the other day the league's getting tougher. But I don't think so,” Kean mused.

"If United are really at it, which they will be, they'll win it comfortably. Even last year when United were slipping up, no team was strong enough to take advantage of it."

The player-come-manager, who’s most recent managerial post was at Ipswich, said that United’s purchases this summer show that Ferguson is building to make an already successful core even better.

"United have bought well. People talk about losing experience and I appreciate that Van der Sar, Neville and Scholes have all retired. But they have good young players coming through - and Wayne Rooney can play better than he did last season," Keane said.

 

"When you look at the players they have left behind, they have Vidic, Rio, Darren Fletcher - these are all international players. And Giggsy is still there, too. United don't let players go unless they know they have players coming through to replace them.

"Ashley Young and Phil Jones are good players, Chris Smalling is coming through and Danny Welbeck is a good player coming back after being on loan at Sunderland last season.

"And when the older lads come to the end in four or five years, you'll have the likes of Jones and Smalling to step in with five or six years experience behind them. It's like a machine. You can talk all you like about other teams getting stronger but, for me, United have got stronger as well.

"They're going to do the business. Of all the teams, if one has the balance right I believe it's United."

As far as the ex-United captain was concerned, United’s only real threat in the coming season would be cross-town rivals Manchester City.

"I don't think the current City group see United as a machine that can't be stopped," he said.

"Beating United at Wembley was a milestone for them. They've been close to getting results over United in the last few years.

"When a team is spending that sort of money and bringing in the quality they have, then they are a threat."

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