Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez believes his club are genuine contenders for the Premier League title this season, though he expects a strong challenge to come from the traditional powers of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Tevez, who scored twice for Argentina at the World Cup, is brimming with anticipation ahead of the 2010-11 campaign after a stunning debut at Eastlands in which he nettted 29 goals to fire City to the brink of Champions League qualification.
After being pipped to the post by Spurs, who claimed fourth place in May, Roberto Mancini has spent big over the summer, splashing £75 million on Jerome Boateng, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov.
And with James Milner and Mario Balotelli also expected to arrive at Eastlands in the near future, Tevez believes that City have assembled a squad with enough quality to bring the league title back to the blue side of Manchester for the first time in 43 years.
"Our aim should be to improve bit by bit, but we know we must fight for the title," Tevez told 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. I think he [Mancini] will make history with this team, if we have some luck on the pitch. Five years is a long way off, but I think we will have won the league title by that time.''