Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini fears the club's failure to qualify for the Champions League will cost them any chance of signing Fernando Torres.
Mancini, whose side drew 1-1 with West Ham in the final match of the season, admitted in April that Manchester City need to sign "top players". But City will have to settle for Europa League football next season after their hopes of breaking into the top four were wrecked by Wednesday night's home defeat to Tottenham.
Asked whether the club can still attract top players like Torres in those circumstances, Mancini said: "I don't think so. If we finished in the top four, it would be better and easier to attract them."
He added: "In this situation it is different. There are probably some players who want to play in the Champions League and not in the Europa League.
"But there are a lot of players in Europe who will want to play for Manchester City next year.
"It will be an important squad for us next season. We won't playing in the Champions League but we must try to win the other competition and finish in the top four in the Premier League.
"I think we are a good team but if we want to play for the top of the table we must improve. We now have time to buy some players and strengthen some positions."
Mancini attributed Craig Bellamy's absence against the Hammers to an ankle injury and also played down suggestions of a falling out with Carlos Tevez.
"Everything is fine with Carlos," said Mancini.