Sir Bobby Charlton is certain Manchester United will finish above their bitter rivals City next year.
City's 4-0 win over Aston Villa means they need just one point from their final game of the season to win the Barclays Premier League.
United, meanwhile, are 20 points behind their neighbours in seventh place. They are likely to miss out on European qualification altogether thanks to a disastrous campaign under David Moyes, who was recently fired just 10 months after being appointed successor to Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the club's all-time top goal scorer, who is now a director at Old Trafford, has told City the balance of power will swing back in United's favour next year.
"This year has been an tremendously interesting year," said Charlton, who played 758 times for the club.
Who might leave Manchester United this summer?
Who might leave Manchester United this summer?
1/9 Rio Ferdinand
For years Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were the meanest defence in the Premier League, but age and injuries has seen the partnership wilt. With Vidic now off, the partnership is over and it could be that both leave the club. The 35-year-old is out of contract in the summer and widely expected to leave. A lucrative move to the MLS is a possibility, with the former England international confirming his desire to continue his playing career.
2/9 Nemanja Vidic
Vidic has already confirmed he will join Inter Milan at the end of the season, and will make his Old Trafford farewell in Tuesday's Premier League clash with Hull.
3/9 Patrice Evra
Out of contract in the summer, the French left-back looks certain to leave. he arrived at United in 2006 and despite his form dipping in the season Manchester City claimed their maiden Premier League title, the 32-year-old has arguably shown his best ever form this term, including scoring some crucial goals. The summer pursuits of Leighton Baines and Fabio Coentrao indicated much about Evra's future, but a £30m move for Southampton's Luke Shaw could materialise in the summer.
4/9 Ryan Giggs
United's interim manager is still out of contract at the end of the season, and his future remains unclear given that the next manager in-waiting Louis van Gaal may not want Giggs on his coaching staff. Either way, it appears his playing career is finally coming to an end.
Despite signing a new long-term contract earlier this season, speculation over a move away from Old Trafford remains rife. Surely this summer the Portugal international will finally leave the club, with Juventus said to be willing to shell out £12m for his services.
Has moved on loan to Fiorentina until the end of the season and at his unveiling made it clear he wouldn't be returning to Old Trafford.
7/9 Javier Hernandez
The Mexican striker is understood to be frustrated by his lack of first team football. It was strongly rumoured that he would move in January but in the end he remained at Old Trafford. Whether United can retain him in the summer remains to be seen, particularly if he enjoys a good World Cup.
8/9 Robin van Persie
Rumours surfaced earlier this season that RVP was angered by the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson just 12 months after joining from Arsenal. United's former manager was a major influence on his decision to move to Old Trafford. With United failing to secure Champions League football for next season, the Dutchman could have more than one reason for wanting to depart.
9/9 Shinji Kagawa
The Japan international has failed to make an impact since joining from Borussia Dortmund and with the arrival of Juan Mata, the situation doesn't look like improving. The 24-year-old recently admitted his frustration at his form. Perhaps it could improve away from Old Trafford.
"We have done our best, we have changed manager, and it has not worked.
"But next year I guarantee that we will be number one in Manchester."
Charlton confirmed that Moyes' successor, likely to be Louis van Gaal, will have money to spend.
"We will have to buy a couple of players, which will happen," added Charlton, who was speaking at the Manchester United player of the year awards.
"I am looking forward a lot to next year because Manchester United is not renowned for being second.
"We like to be first and we will be first. We have the most fantastic organisation and that organisation when it works is unstoppable."
Van Gaal's appointment will not be confirmed until after Ryan Giggs' final game of his interim spell as player-manager on Sunday at Southampton.
Giggs could play on for another year, join the new manager's backroom staff or manage at another club.
Read more: United will regret Vidic departure, says Ferdinand
Bobby Charlton insists United will beat City next season
The Welshman picked up the United lifetime achievement award at Thursday night's ceremony at Old Trafford - an honour usually reserved in sport for those coming towards the end of their careers.
But Giggs insists he has not yet made his mind up yet.
"I have not decided," the 40-year-old said.
"I am too busy trying to prepare a team for Southampton and that is my priority at the moment.
"When the season ends I will go away and think about what I want to do next.
"I said five or six years ago that if my career ended tomorrow I would be happy so every year is a bonus.
"I still enjoy training and playing but I have really enjoyed the last couple of weeks so it has been a good experience to take me on to the next chapter of my life."
Just like Charlton, Giggs is sure United will perform much better next season.
"It's been a disappointing season but if you are a proper club, which we are, you always bounce back," said Giggs, who made his debut for United in 1991.
"In football you have setbacks. In my first full season we lost out to Leeds in the league and I was sat in the dressing room as an 18 year-old watching grown men cry.
"We came back the next year and won the league for the first time in 26 years and there is not a doubt in my mind that we will be back next year, we will be challenging and that is what proper clubs do - they have setbacks and come back stronger."