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City could make January signings


Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini (right) has not ruled out January signings

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini (right) has not ruled out January signings

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini (right) has not ruled out January signings

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has not ruled out making new signings in the January transfer window.

The champions look to have a serious fight on their hands to retain their Barclays Premier League crown with leaders Chelsea currently setting a ferocious pace.

That might tempt City back into the transfer market at the campaign's halfway stage, as might continued involvement in the Champions League.

City, who face Roma early next month, still have a chance of reaching the knockout stages of the European competition following Tuesday's stunning defeat of Bayern Munich.

"It's a thing that maybe we will talk in a few weeks more," said Pellegrini. "But not in this moment. We are just focused on the Premier League, focused on the game in Rome.

"If we continue in the Champions League we will have a lot of things to think about, but you must remember we have restrictions this year - restrictions that we cannot bring in important players because we must leave them out of the squad for the Champions League.

"So we will see but I repeat that at this moment it is not the first priority to talk about. We are not thinking about that because I think it's important to trust in the squad that we have."

The restrictions Pellegrini refers to are those imposed by UEFA last summer after the club breached the European governing body's Financial Fair Play regulations.

City were limited to a net spend of £49million in the last transfer window and also had to limit their Champions League squad to 21 players, as opposed to the regular 25.

Fear of further sanctions will limit the amount the club are prepared to spend while the squad cap leaves little room for manoeuvre.

One player the club would be able to replace, however, is former England midfielder Frank Lampard, whose loan from sister club New York City is due to expire at the end of December.

There has been speculation City might seek to extend the deal to compensate for Yaya Toure's likely involvement in the African Nations Cup, but that might not stretch to the resumption of the Champions League.

Pellegrini maintains that a decision on Lampard will not be taken until some time next month.

"When we have to make a decision, we will make a decision," said the Chilean.

One obvious area City might wish to strengthen is up front, despite the prolific output of Sergio Aguero.

Aguero has scored 17 goals this season but fellow strikers Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic have netted just seven between them. The sale of Alvaro Negredo, forced partly for Financial Fair Play reasons, has also taken away an extra option.

But Pellegrini, speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend's trip to Southampton, would not be drawn on that matter.

He said: "In this moment if I say I think that maybe we are not scoring too many goals, then everyone will think that we need more players.

"But maybe we need to improve the performance of our players, the performance of the team, and that is for a lot of different reasons."