"It does not bother me whether they are ten metres away or 30 km away," said manager Louis van Gaal of his employer Manchester United's local rivals Manchester City recently.
It is a derby that has taken on added significance in recent years since the start of the Abu Dhabi United Group era, an investment vehicle that took ownership of City in 2008 and has since driven them to unprecedented success both in the transfer market and in domestic competitions.
Funded by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, City have managed to acquire some of Europe's most blessed footballing talent as Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany have all transferred to the Etihad Stadium side and helped the club win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup.
"It is amazing because they were not a big club and now already Champions [of England] and they have also won the Cup in the last three years," continued van Gaal, who will be looking to guide United into a position where they can rise from the disappointing seventh from last year and leapfrog City, so that they can reclaim the crown.
"They are knocking at the door but that is good for Manchester United also because where there is competition you can be proud when you are the champion at the end and maybe we will be the champions."