The ex-Red Devils right-back has warned the Citizens not to spend heavily this year or sack under-fire boss Roberto Mancini but instead build responsibly for long-term success
The two local rivals, who occupy the top two spots in the Premier League, clash on Monday night with United already 15 points clear at the top of the table and virtually assured of the title.
But Neville has urged the Citizens not to do anything drastic over the summer and believes trigger-happy Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich serves as a reminder that money does not guarantee success.
"The temptation now would be to think they have to spend another £150 million to redress the balance or to sack the manager to bring about changes," Neville wrote in his Daily Mail column.
"But that way is addictive; just look at Chelsea. You continually need to spend ‘just another’ £150m to keep up, or to sack ‘just one more’ manager to effect change.
"If City’s aim is to be truly great, they should match their rhetoric about building a long-term future and stick to the philosophy they now espouse."
Neville, who combines punditry duties with a coaching role with the England national team, has blamed City’s weak title defence on complacency, with the soon-to-be-dethroned champions resting on their laurels.
"I think the feeling among the players last May may have been: ‘Thank goodness! We’ve climbed the mountain! We did it!’" Neville continued.
"But you have to learn to be serial winners and United have done that over the years. Win or lose, the train doesn’t stop. You have to keep going.
"Instilling that relentlessness into his players over the years has been Sir Alex Ferguson’s greatest feat."