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."
|Zverev destroys racquet in Aus Open meltdown|
|From Villarreal to Aus Open quarters – Bautista Agut breaks major duck|
|Brees: I plan on being here next year and making another run at it|
|´Unf******-believable bro!´ - Brady stunned after reaching third straight Super Bowl|
|New England find answers, penalty costs Kansas City – three takeaways from Patriots´ win over Chiefs|
|Donald Trump congratulates Brady and Super Bowl-bound Patriots|
|Rose helps Timberwolves down Suns|
|Brady leads Patriots into third straight Super Bowl|
|Osaka overcomes Sevastova to reach quarters|
|Chelsea remain behind Sarri – David Luiz|
|McVay explains Gurley´s limited role in Rams´ win over Saints|
|Southgate hails ´tremendous talent´ Rashford|
|Long earns maiden PGA Tour win at Desert Classic|
|Flanagan resigns as Sharks head coach|
|Rams´ Robey-Coleman admits he committed penalty on controversial no-call|
|NFL admits they blew the call – Saints coach Payton|
|Terrible no-call, Goff shines – three takeaways from Rams´ win over Saints|
|Lonzo Ball to miss 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain|
|Patterson added to Australia Test squad|
|Zuerlein´s overtime kick sinks Saints and sends Rams to Super Bowl|
|It was a clear goal – Valverde dismisses Barca VAR controversy|
|Rashford can emulate Man United greats Ronaldo and Rooney – Solskjaer|
|Karmichael Hunt swaps Reds for Waratahs|
|Barcelona forward Dembele set for tests on sprained ankle|
|Neymar insists Barcelona and Real Madrid links not ´concrete´|
|England trio Nowell, Slade and Cowan-Dickie sign fresh Exeter deals|
|Windies coach Pybus not distracted by detractors|
|Barcelona 3 Leganes 1: Messi and Suarez combine to spare Barca´s blushes|
|I´m sure Michael would be extremely proud - Vettel hails Mick Schumacher|
|Young plays down injury fears for England trio Launchbury, Shields and Hughes|
|Pochettino: Lucas Moura fit for Chelsea clash|
|Ranieri positive on Fulham survival chances despite ´unbelievable´ Spurs loss|
|United Arab Emirates v Kyrgyzstan: Zaccheroni confident in attack|
|South Korea lose Ki to hamstring injury|
|It doesn´t look great - Pochettino to wait on Alli assessment|
|Messi benched as Barcelona face Leganes|
|Dalglish texts me before matches - Van Dijk|
|Patrick Mahomes could sign NFL´s first $200m contract - reports|
|Iran 2 Oman 0: Jahanbakhsh and Dejagah secure last-eight spot|
|Helloooo u remember me? Nkoudou reminds Spurs fans he exists|
|Japan v Saudi Arabia: Pizzi believes Saudis can upset the odds|
|Repsol Honda´s Lorenzo to have surgery on fractured wrist|
|Fulham 1 Tottenham 2: Winks heads late winner after Alli injury|
|Leinster seal home quarter-final with win over Wasps|
|Vince, Curran star as Sixers trounce Heat to move second|
|Sharapova stunned by Barty as Kvitova takes Anisimova to school|
|Guardiola demands improvement after Man City win|
|Sexton has bat phone to referees - Jones|
|Alonso accepts Chelsea guilty of ´silly mistakes´ in Arsenal defeat|
|Guardiola woke us up - Sane reveals half-time rocket for Man City|
|A first step to something bigger - Tsitsipas eyeing glory after shocking Federer|
|Thailand 1 China 2: Gao Lin keeps dream alive for Lippi|
|Tsitsipas in dreamland after ousting Federer, birthday boy Tiafoe breaks new ground|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester City 3: Danilo, Sterling and Sane on target for ton-up City|
|Allegri: Khedira will be like a new signing for Juventus|
|Manchester City reach 100 goals in 2018-19|
|Australia v Uzbekistan: Leckie´s return is ´like a new signing´, says Arnold|
|Jordan 1 Vietnam 1 (aet, 2-4 on penalties): Keeper Van Lam the shoot-out hero|
|Federer confirms French Open return after Melbourne exit|
|I accept his decision - Gattuso axes Chelsea-bound Higuain|
|The rapid rise of Federer-conqueror Tsitsipas|
|Gracious Federer hails ´better player´ Tsitsipas after Australian Open exit|
|Tsitsipas ´happiest man on earth´ after stunning Federer|
|Harden focused on wins, not personal feats after scoring 48 points|
|PSG midfielder Verratti suffers sprained ankle|
|Inspired Tsitsipas dethrones Federer|
|PSG´s Cavani considering career finale in Uruguay|
|Feisty Collins ready to make more noise after thrashing Kerber|
|I´ve got to work on my soccer skills! - Mavs´ Doncic didn´t know ejection rule|
|Lakers won´t rush LeBron & Rondo back despite Ball injury|