Italian views Wednesday night showdown a giant leap forward...
City currently lie in fifth, just a point behind Spurs, after beating fellow Champions League contenders Aston Villa on Saturday.
The two sides now go toe-to-toe on Wednesday with Mancini’s men able to leapfrog their rivals - and come within touching distance of Champions League football next year - if they can secure victory.
The Italian has conceded in order to attract his top targets this summer, playing in Europe's premium club competition would be a crucial factor.
"It's normal for players to think like that," Mancini told Sky Sports.
"A lot of players want to play in the Champions League. To improve the squad we must buy better players and the players must want to come here.
"But even if we don't finish in the Champions League we want to buy better players."
Mancini is eagerly anticipating Wednesday night’s showdown and wants his players to treat the game as if it were a cup final.
The former Inter coach also moved to dismiss speculation over his future and said he was enjoying his time in Manchester.
"Wednesday is a final," he added.
"We wanted a final this year and this is it so we will need all our supporters with us. This is the most important game of the year and we want to win it.
"I'm always asked if my future depends on this game but it's not important for me, it's important for the squad.
"I'm enjoying doing this job and being the manager. I like this job."
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