Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed bringing the club in line with UEFA's financial fair play regulations was the reason for the acquisition of Owen Hargreaves.
The Italian coveted Roma's Daniele de Rossi and Real Madrid's Fernando Gago - but settled on the 30-year-old former Manchester United midfielder because of a lack of income.
Mancini told The Independent: "Gago is a player we liked a lot. We couldn't spend any more money also for the question of financial fair play. De Rossi is one of the best midfielders in the world but I don't believe he will ever leave Roma. So in midfield we signed Hargreaves, who was out of contact."
Mancini's assistant David Platt added: "We needed a central midfield player but unfortunately in terms of players going out and bringing in transfer fees, a lot have gone out on loan, so fees haven't come in for them. You have to get creative."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.