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Rules hamper City

MANCHESTER City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed bringing the club in line with UEFA's financial fair play regulations was the reason |for the acquisition of Owen Hargreaves.

The Italian coveted Roma's Daniele de Rossi and Real Madrid's Fernando Gago – |but settled on the 30-year-old former Manchester United midfielder because of a lack of income.

Mancini said: “Gago is a player we liked a lot. We couldn't spend any more money also for the question of financial fair play.

“De Rossi is one of the best midfielders in the world but I don't believe he will ever leave Roma. So in midfield we signed Hargreaves, who was out of contract.”

Mancini's assistant David Platt added: “We needed a central midfield player but unfortunately in terms of players going out and bringing in transfer fees, a lot have gone out on loan, so fees haven't come in for them.

“You have to get creative.”