'To add more quality you are talking £10m or £15m and we can't do this' - Farke's transfer admission after spate of defensive injuries
Daniel Farke would love to have signed a top class centre back for the Premier League push - if he knew he faced a trio of long-term injuries.
Timm Klose is expected to be out all season with knee ligament damage, while Christoph Zimmermann (foot) and Grant Hanley (groin) will not return until after the upcoming international break.
Captain Alex Tettey was pressed into emergency service at Brighton as makeshift centre back Ibrahim Amadou was only fit for a place on the bench.
City's limited room for manoeuvre in last summer's transfer market was underlined on Tuesday with a £38m loss revealed in the latest set of club accounts.
"If we had known before the window was closed we would have three long-term injuries to centre backs we would have done something," said Farke. "But you can't prepare for such a situation, otherwise you sign seven or eight centre backs.
"Then when you have no injuries in this area you have a different type of problem in the squad. To add more quality you are talking £10m or £15m and we can't do this.
"To have five centre backs and some under-23 options was totally enough, but not many teams in the world have three long-term centre back injuries. We are not talking muscle injuries either but surgery in all three cases.
"If I am really honest if we had those possibilities we would have brought them to add more quality. That makes us more competitive and increases our chances to stay in this league.
"If you spend £150m then of course it is more likely you can be successful. We will never have the possibilities of the settled Premier League teams."
City host fellow strugglers Watford on Friday looking to pick up a first win in seven, and Farke is still relishing the chance to pit his wits in the big time.
"I am enjoying this. Of course you like the games a bit more when you are successful, when you are able to beat Manchester City and the genius Pep Guardiola," he said. "That is more lovely than having to explain why we have lost a game.
"It is also more enjoyable when you have the tools to work a bit more on the tactical side.
"The gap to the places you want to be is still not too big. Let's stay positive. We have already had some brilliant results and when we get players back we can add the few per cent."