Manager Roberto Mancini has admitted he is still “two or three players” short of the squad he wants to challenge for top honours, and says the club will buy in January if the market is right.
His hand may be forced by players looking to move out of Eastlands, with Shay Given likely to request a loan move and Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz also possible leavers.
City’s player acquisition group has already started to discuss potential targets, although no definite strategy has been agreed upon.
But names have already been bandied around and the Manchester Evening News says strikers Edin Dzeko, Karim Benzema and Pato are on the list of possibles.
AC Milan’s Brazilian ace Pato would be of interest but the £50m price tag is unrealistic.