It is promising to be an interesting close season, with Chelsea definitely in the market for a new manager and City potentially so if owner Sheikh Mansour believes Roberto Mancini has failed to deliver the improvement he is looking for.
Even if Mancini remains, it would seem more likely than not City will be looking to bolster their squad following a failure to keep pace with United. And Chelsea certainly will if, as Ferguson suspects, Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge.
However, the Red Devils chief has already started his work. England Under-21 wide-man Wilfried Zaha was signed from Crystal Palace in January, then immediately loaned back to the Championship outfit for the remainder of the campaign.
Interest in strikers Robert Lewandowski and Radamel Falcao is long-standing, while it is also believed United will be in the hunt for a central midfielder and a left-back, depending upon whether Ferguson has a long-term plan for Fabio, who has spent the campaign with crisis club QPR.
There is no intention to go head-to-head with City or Chelsea on pure finance alone. But Ferguson is confident United can get the players he wants.
"We're competitive in the market - we're not Chelsea or Manchester City in terms of money but we're competitive," Ferguson told Inside United.
"We've been doing a bit of work over the last three or four months, targeting who the players are that we feel could enhance us, make us better or help us maintain the level we're at.
"Hopefully the players we bring into the club in the next year or so will be of the quality we need."