Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez has opted for Manchester United over Manchester City because the Red Devils are "miles bigger" than the runaway Premier League leaders, according to Paul Ince.
Chile international Sanchez – out of contract at the end of the season – is poised to join United having snubbed Pep Guardiola and City.
The 29-year-old forward had been tipped to swap Arsenal for City in a reunion with former Barcelona boss Guardiola, however, United hijacked their neighbour's move, with some past players and pundits claiming Sanchez's decision is based on money.
However, former United midfielder Ince insisted City simply cannot compete with the history of their rivals – the 20-time English champions.
"Everyone is raving about City. But when it comes to the two clubs, Man United are miles bigger than City. Players would still prefer to go to them over Pep's side – that's a fact. Players won't go to City because they think they're a bigger, more historic club than United. Because they're simply not," Ince told Paddy Power.
"Some might get the quick satisfaction of winning the league this year, but those years of history, and the side that [Jose] Mourinho is building – players want to be a part of that.
"This signing only confirms that. Sanchez had the opportunity to go into a team where he could have won a trophy. But he didn't, he chose to go to United because of everything they stand for and that says a lot about the size of the club.
"City have some unbelievable players, but winning the league this year doesn't mean anything. They need to do that year upon year and collect trophies to compete with United. That's the true test. They're not serial winners. United are and that's why players want to be there.
"With the Champions League around the corner, this is a huge boost. Sanchez hasn't come to Old Trafford not to play. He's come to show how good he is, on the top stage, which is Europe. He's a special player and the sort that doesn't come around that often, and I'd say United's hopes of winning their fourth European trophy have just got a lot more likely."
Ince – a two-time Premier League winner at Old Trafford – added: "We all presumed Sanchez would join Man City. There was all this talk about how desperate he was to be reunited with Pep Guardiola from their Barcelona days.
"Suddenly, Man United is the destination for him, and that is a massive statement from the club. He's one of the best players in the Premier League, and they've had a lot of competition to sign him.
"This is their way of saying: 'Don't belittle us. We're still the biggest club in the league and we can get who we want.'
"It seems United, City, Liverpool and Chelsea were all after him. Sanchez choosing United sends a big message to those clubs, especially Man City."
|Tour Championship would enhance successful year, says Tiger|
|Pogba: Man United getting better after winning run|
|What bothers me is that he has time to even do that – LeBron responds to Trump tweet|
|Cowboys most valuable NFL team for 12th successive year|
|Mkhitaryan aiming for glory with Europa specialist Emery|
|Sarri: Pedro´s injury is not too serious|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Drama in Minnesota, a Judge returns and tragedy in Iowa|
|Tottenham will overcome rough patch – Lamela|
|Torreira impresses for Arsenal but leaves with knock|
|Gattuso urges Higuain to be less predictable with his movement|
|Steelers´ Brown: ´Obviously I don´t want to be traded´|
|Woods, Fowler share Tour Championship lead|
|LeBron James backs Serena Williams after US Open controversy|
|Thiem into St Petersburg quarters, but retiring Youzhny bows out|
|Wigan clinch home semi-final with win over Huddersfield|
|Can apologises following sexism accusations|
|De Bruyne expects to be back for Manchester derby|
|Celtic 1 Rosenborg 0: Griffiths late show lifts Hoops|
|Woods eagles 18 to make 65 at Tour Championship|
|Arsenal 4 Vorskla 2: Aubameyang at the double in entertaining triumph|
|Dudelange 0 AC Milan 1: Deflected Higuain goal spares Gattuso´s blushes|
|Birthday boy Rashid inspires Afghanistan to Asia Cup win|
|Sarri feeling sorry for ´unlucky´ Morata|
|Ryder Cup pick Garcia shoots 66 at Portugal Masters|
|Ronaldo, Zidane, Cantona and the most infamous red cards|
|Villarreal 2 Rangers 2: Arfield and Lafferty steal point for Gerrard´s men|
|PAOK 0 Chelsea 1: Willian strikes as Morata misfires|
|Rain delays Ostapenko in Seoul, Wang books Guangzhou semi|
|Pochettino backs Kane to end goal drought|
|We figured it out - 76ers´ Markelle Fultz rebuilds jump shot|
|Joshua: Povetkin my second-toughest fight|
|Relaxed Pochettino not pushing panic button|
|Why Manchester City fans must fix their relationship with the Champions League|
|Majestic Giorgi ends Wozniacki´s reign in Tokyo|
|Pochettino unwilling to risk Alli fitness|
|Bigger Champions League tests to come, warns Pogba|
|Eight for 10! - Nadeem spins his way to world-record figures|
|A 4-1 lead cut to 3-2 by VAR, but Quakes have no complaints after Atlanta defeat|
|UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Ronaldo|
|Joshua v Povetkin: Recapping AJ´s previous world title defences|
|Players told to ink twice over showing tattoos at Rugby World Cup in Japan|
|Mariano targeting Spain call-up after goalscoring Madrid return|
|Pandya, Axar and Thakur out of Asia Cup|
|England omit Cipriani, Tuilagi and Ashton called up|
|Can reacts to Ronaldo´s red card: We are not women|
|One Year to Go: Five Rugby World Cup debutants set to shine|
|Shy Osaka not comfortable with new-found fame|
|Belgium and World Cup winners France make FIFA rankings history|
|Ronaldo wanted to impress - Bernardeschi sympathises after Juve superstar´s red|
|Van Dijk warns Liverpool: Believe we can win trophies or stay home|
|Menezes complains of anti-Brazilian conspiracy after Dede´s VAR red|
|Diamondbacks rout Cubs to remain in postseason picture|
|Modric embraces Ballon d´Or chants as Di Francesco backs Madrid star for award|
|MLS Review: Martinez helps Atlanta stage comeback amid VAR controversy|
|Kerevi recommits to Wallabies, Reds|
|Lyon to ban fan for life after footage of Nazi salute emerges|
|Milan must respect opponents – Gattuso not underestimating Dudelange|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Zarate leads Boca, River draw|
|Mourinho: Dalot can play at Man United for more than 10 years|
|Johnson hoping to erase East Lake demons|
|´No question´ Fitzgerald faces Bears, says Cardinals´ Wilks|
|Rodgers says roughing the passer penalties are ´going the wrong direction´|
|Ravens fined $200,000 for violating communication policy|
|LeBron James set to star in ´Space Jam´ sequel|
|Ronaldo red card ´absurd´, says Pjanic|
|Kovac hails ´special´ Sanches after Bayern goal|
|Marcelino: Tearful Ronaldo said he did nothing wrong|
|Fernandinho takes blame for Man City´s Lyon loss|
|Lovren denies any wrongdoing after perjury charge|
|Plzen boss Vrba slams late mistakes|