Pep Guardiola says there is "more chance" Manchester City will not sign a striker this summer than them spending big on the likes of Harry Kane or Erling Haaland.
The Premier League champions were expected to invest in a new number nine when another transfer window opened, with Sergio Aguero - the club's all-time leading goalscorer - leaving for Barcelona as a free agent.
Raids on Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund for prolific forwards have been mooted, with a £100 million ($139m) bid for Kane said to be in the pipeline, but Guardiola claims there is no guarantee of deals being done.
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What has been said?
The City boss told TV3: "At the prices we are not going to buy any strikers, it is impossible, we cannot afford it. It's impossible.
"All clubs are struggling financially, we are not an exception. We have Gabriel [Jesus], Ferran [Torres] who has been incredible in this position, we have young players in the academy, we play many times with a false nine.
"I don't know what is going to happen. Maybe we're going to buy but maybe we're not going to buy a striker for next season. Today there is more chance we aren't going to buy a striker for next season."
If not a striker, someone else?
City restored domestic dominance in English football last season, as they claimed a Premier League crown and another Carabao Cup triumph, while a memorable run to the Champions League final was also enjoyed.
Guardiola is, however, a coach that demands continuous improvement and reinforcements will be sought at the right price.
It has been suggested that the Catalan coach could raid the ranks of his former club Barcelona for versatile Spain international Sergi Roberto, but the Blues boss is reluctant to be drawn on those rumours.
He said: "I will not answer these things.
"Sergi is a Barca player. All the Barca players and all players at other great teams in the world are good, but Sergi is a Barca player and I will not respond to the national television of Catalunya."
The bigger picture
Barca are said to be open to the idea of selling Sergi Roberto this summer, as they look to free up funds in a salary cap that will allow the services of Lionel Messi to be retained.
Guardiola is aware of the financial struggles being endured by leading sides around the world, but he does not expect City to break the bank in a testing market.
He added: "I imagine that if we want to sign a Barca or Madrid player for €100m or so, Barca and Madrid will not complain. They will be delighted that it can be done.
"I don't know how the market will end. I don't know, with Txiki [Begiristain], what we can do because many times you want to do things that are not possible.
"What we can do, we will do and if not we will continue with the squad we have, with which we have won three leagues in four years and finally reached a Champions League final."