Striker Carlos Tevez believes Manchester City are contenders for the Barclays Premier League title this season.
Despite having so far failed to qualify for the Champions League, finishing fifth in May, the Argentina international thinks City are now in a position to take a giant leap forward. Manager Roberto Mancini has invested £75million in the squad this summer, bringing in Jerome Boateng, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov, and is still pursuing Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli and Aston Villa midfielder James Milner.
"Our aim should be to improve bit by bit, but we know we must fight for the title," said Tevez who expects this season's championship battle to be a five-way race between the established 'big four' of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool plus City.
"I can say for certain that the winner will be one of these teams," he added in ZOO magazine.
"The same teams will be there and even though we have brought in new players, other clubs will match us.
"We are right up there with them. We have strengthened and we are stronger. There is no great difference between all the top teams now.
"We'll see whether we are good enough. I hope we improve on last season and can challenge for the title right to the end. That's what we want.
"But the first challenge is to qualify for the Champions League. I hope it won't escape us this time."
And despite rumours about discontent within the squad over Mancini last season Tevez has backed the Italian to eventually lead City to their first Premier League title.
"I think he will make history with this team, if we have some luck on the pitch," he said. "Five years is a long way off, but I think we will have won the league title by that time."
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