Football: Big-spending City eye yet more signings

HONG KONG - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Friday hinted that more big-money signings were to come, as he underlined the need to get a fast start to the new season.

City have been the biggest spenders in the Premier League over the summer, splurging 83 million pounds ($126 million, 96 million euros) on new players.

They have brought in strikers Alvaro Negredo from Sevilla and Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina, as well as Spanish midfielder Jesus Navas and Brazil midfielder Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The deposed Premier League champions, who last month installed Pellegrini to replace the sacked Roberto Mancini, were this week linked with a move for no-nonsense Real Madrid defender Pepe, 30.

"The club has spent money on important players like Stevan and Negredo. But you must remember that last year the club had (Mario) Balotelli and (Carlos) Tevez, so we replaced two very good players with another two very good players," said Pellegrini.

"So we have the whole month of July and some days of August to finish completely the squad. I think it is not absolutely complete but very nearly," he said, speaking in rainy Hong Kong, where City play Sunderland on Saturday in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy.

The Chilean refused to give away any information on a possible move for Pepe.

"I don't speak about rumours. Today we have the players that we need here. As I just said, we will see what happens this month and during August, but I am not talking specific names because it's not the best thing for us, so I am not talking about Pepe or any name."

The former Malaga coach said it was vital that his new side get off to a strong start to the Premier League season. City kick off on August 19 at home to Newcastle.

"Of course it's very important. I think that the difference between five or six clubs is very slight so you can't give an advantage by losing the first game because after that it will be very difficult to recover the points you lost. "So I hope from the very beginning the team will play as I want and winning, that's the most important thing."