Manchester City could not afford to sign Radamel Falcao

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Manuel Pellegrini may have got the better of his counterpart Louis van Gaal in the Manchester derby, but the Citizens certainly lost out to United in the summer transfer window when it came to Radamel Falcao.

The Monaco striker was available on a season-long loan deal and both sides of Manchester were interested in taking him. He eventually join Manchester United and has been impressive, although he was injured for their 1-0 defeat at the Etihad.

Financial Fair Play

But Pellegrini insisted that Manchester City were never in contention to sign Falcao due to their Financial Fair Play restrictions. Not only did they have limited space in their Champions League squad, but they could not afford to pay the player's £265,000-a-week wages or the €12 million loan fee.

"The amount of money for this loan was too much when you had the Financial Fair Play behind you."

Speaking before Sunday's game, Pellegrini told The Independent: “We could not do the loan with Falcao because we did not have the space for him in our Champions League squad.

"The amount of money for this loan was also too much when you had the Financial Fair Play behind you. But I don’t think we should have regrets about what we did in the summer. We did very well because we did all we could.”

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In fact Manchester City were forced to loan out their own striker to make sure their books balanced out according to Uefa's guidelines. Alvaro Negredo returned to La Liga on a season-long loan deal, joining Valencia having spent just one season at Manchester City.

It certainly left the squad unbalanced, but Manchester City's 1-0 win over United has kept them within touching distance of Premier League leaders Chelsea. It is also the fourth win for City in a row over their nearest rivals.

Bigger & better

Before the game, Pellegrini suggested that City were earning the right to be labelled as the biggest club in Manchester. The win would only reinforced such a claim.

“If you just go by the success of the last few years, this team has won two of the last three titles and was runner-up for the other,” he said. “Manchester United has a lot of history and won an important amount of titles but maybe football is (judged) in the present. I am very happy to be the favourites.”

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