Mark Hughes has warned Manchester City's expectant fans to not presume a host of world-class stars will arrive at Eastlands in January.
After chief exec Garry Cook stirred the pot by refusing to rule out the prospect of luring Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United, Hughes, in typically underplayed style played down the hype by stating the difficulties of an instant splurge when the transfer window reopens on January 1.
'There are exceptionally talented players around that we would bring to the club if they were made available,' said Hughes.
'The difficulty will be getting the clubs to release those players.
'We obviously are talking about players whose clubs are involved in the Champions League. They may not be very receptive to losing those players midway through a Champions League season.
'Maybe it will be more difficult in January than people realise. But we will pursue targets we can realistically get.'
Hughes argues that his aims have not changed much in the face of Abu Dhabi's expected injection of millions into the club but that the radical ownership change has merely made those plans appear far more attainable.
'The goal has always been to try and compete with the top teams,' he said.
'Maybe the timescale is a bit different but the goals have not changed. We want to compete and try to win trophies if we can.'