Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City’s squad is not yet "complete" and said they have not finished buying this summer - despite spending around £90 million.
City have signedFernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic but Pellegrini is keen to strengthen further.
City have again been linked with a £20 million move for Portugal international Pepe, although Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said a fortnight ago that the defender would not be leaving the Bernabeu Stadium.
Pellegrini remains interested in Pepe, a source told ESPN, but the FA Cup finalists realised a deal became unlikely when Ancelotti stated he wanted to keep the former Porto player.
And speaking at a press conference in Hong Kong, the Chilean refused to discuss any individual players but emphasised his eagerness to bring someone else in.
But while Pellegrini has been busy in the transfer market, he was keen to point out that some of his signings were just replacing sold players.
He said: "The club has spent money on important players, like Stevan and Negredo," said Pellegrini.
"But we must remind you that last year there was [Mario] Balotelli and [Carlos] Tevez, so we had to replace two very good players with another two very good players.
"So, we have the month of July and some days of August to finish the squad completely. It's not absolutely complete, but it's very near to being complete."
Asked directly about Pepe, Pellegrini replied: "I don't speak about rumours. I'm not talking about specific names because it's not better for us, so I don't talk about Pepe or any other names. I just said that we will see what happens in this month and during August."
City will face Sunderland in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy in Hong Kong on Saturday.