Patrick Vieira believes Manchester City's squad is good enough to win the title - they just need stability at the club.
The Premier League big spenders are currently sitting third in the top flight, seven points off arch rivals Manchester United.
Veteran Vieira believes the club have already made massive strides but now need stability under boss Roberto Mancini.
He told the Mail on Sunday: "I do think this squad are good enough to win the title.
"But compared to the other teams it's different because this football club are just starting to build.
"People sometimes forget that three or four years ago City were aiming not to go down, now City are playing to win the league.
"The big difference between City and Arsenal or Manchester United is that the players at those other clubs have been there years and years, the managers have been there years.
"People need to understand that stability is a really big part of success as well."
Vieira believes United are "an example of success, year after year winning and at the top" but City can challenge their neighbours for the title next term.
He added: "I strongly believe that City next year will be challenging United for the championship.
"The heart of the team is still going to be here. We've achieved nothing yet because our objective is to finish in the top four and try to win a cup - and there are still a few games to go.
"But it has been an up and down season and the team have learned a lot from that...the ingredients are there."
City aim to make the FA Cup semi-finals when they take on Reading on Sunday.
Vieira added: "We want to do well in the Cup. We play at home and we want to go through, go to Wembley and win it.
"We hope we win something because the team are good enough and it would be a shame going through the season not winning something."