Gael Clichy has become the latest Manchester City new recruit to settle in at Eastlands by launching a sarcastic swipe at United.
In January, Edin Dzeko made the point he had been told most football fans in a divided city support the Blues.
The jibe did not go down well at Old Trafford, especially as memories were still fresh of the inflammatory ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster that proclaimed the capture of Carlos Tevez and led to Sir Alex Ferguson’s condemnation as “stupid and arrogant”.
Now Clichy has come out with a similar statement to Dzeko, raising the temperature of a Mancunian duel which now involves the clubs who hold the most important two domestic trophies and will contest the Community Shield at Wembley next month.
“I understand that the people who live in Manchester are the true fans. They are from City,” he said. “That is a good point. I won’t be bothered by United fans.”
Not that Clichy lacks respect for the Red Devils. It is just that, after eight years at Arsenal, he is intent on doing something the Gunners have not managed in the past six - winning something.
“There is no limit at Manchester City,” he said. “Of course, you have to be realistic but there is no limit. Where they have come from in three years is phenomenal. And I want to win things.”
Observations issued through the medium of an interview with the club he has just joined are unlikely to be too revealing about the failings of the team he has left behind. Compared to Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, who is also on City’s wanted list and has been tipped to be reunited quickly with Roberto Mancini’s first summer signing, Clichy may not be quite as important to most Gunners fans. However, if the star duo also quit, big questions will be asked of the Londoners’ future direction.
“My season was a bit like the team’s,” reflected Clichy on another barren campaign at the Emirates. “We started well and collapsed at the end of the season after the (Carling Cup) final.
“These things happen in football. That is why you can see the importance of having a big squad. We had a few players out at the same time. It was difficult to cope with that. We lost Fabregas and (Robin) van Persie at the same time.
“Sometimes it is difficult to have a lot of players because you have to leave some out. But you need to have a big squad to go all the way. That is why I joined City.”
Clichy has penned a lucrative four-year contract and is now in direct competition with Aleksandar Kolarov for the left-back berth.
With Joleon Lescott able to fill that role as well, it is difficult to see Wayne Bridge having any future.