Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon believes Manchester City will struggle to sign many high-quality players this summer if they fail to clinch a place in next season's Champions League.
City have already been linked with a host of big-name stars and have virtually unlimited transfer funds, but are in a four-way fight with Tottenham, Aston Villa and Liverpool as they chase a fourth-place finish in the Premier League.
City signed Robinho from Real Madrid in September 2008 for a British club record transfer fee of £32.5million but failed to land the likes of Ronaldinho and Kaka before snapping Craig Bellamy, Shay Given, Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor.
Italy international Buffon said of City's record in the transfer market:"It doesn't surprise me that a lot of big players have turned down Manchester City.
"The best players in the world want to be playing for the top teams in the top three leagues, no more than five or six teams in Europe. It's a very elite list and Manchester City have to accept the fact they are not one of them.
"I read that City were interested in me last summer. I don't know if anything was tabled, but there is no way I could have considered it. I couldn't justify leaving one of Europe's most famous clubs for a team that are not playing football at the highest level.
"City have signed some fantastic players. But if they want to go up to the next level and sign even better players then they must claim a Champions League spot this year."