Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has told ambitious Manchester City it will take them longer to be Barclays Premier League title contenders than they think.
The Eastlands club are awash with money following their takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group, and the club's new owners quickly made noises about signing top stars and challenging for a Champions League spot and even the Premier League crown.
Mascherano said: "They are looking to be in the top four and if they have the chance to fight for the title they will go for it. But we know how difficult it is in the Premier League, so maybe they will need a little bit more time to fight for titles."
He added: "We know they have a good team and they are stronger than last season, obviously.
"They have a good manager and are improving a little bit more than before."
Mascherano's colleague Dirk Kuyt has already dismissed fanciful claims from Eastlands that they can compete to sign players like Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.
A deadline-day bid for the Spaniard was ignored by Liverpool, and Kuyt said: "Of course it is possible to sign big players, but nobody at Liverpool would want to join City because we are a bigger club.
"If they want big players already at big clubs, they will find that the difficult thing."
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