Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists the club need to sell before they can strengthen, stating Carlos Tevez could leave this week.
Tevez has been out of the first-team picture at the Etihad Stadium following his infamous decision to refuse to warm up in a UEFA Champions League game against Bayern Munich.
Serie A giants AC Milan have been heavily linked with the Argentina international along with Inter Milan, Paris St Germain and Corinthians, and Mancini believes that a potential deal to offload the ex-Manchester United man 'could be close'.
Mancini is keen to strengthen where possible, although he knows up to four players need to move on before he can bring in a fresh face during the January transfer window.
Along with Tevez, Wayne Bridge is expected to leave and the Italian tactician is hoping the former Chelsea and Southampton defender can secure a new club.
"We need to sell three or four players and with Carlos we could close (a deal) with a club in the next three or four days, and also possibly Wayne. Then maybe we can do something," explained Mancini.
"We hope for us and for Carlos we can do a deal. There are two or three teams in Italy, a team in France, and another team involved - I hope for him he can start to play football.
"We could maybe bring someone in, but we need to sell."
The Tevez saga has been a long drawn-out affair and Mancini does not believe there has been a winner in the battle, with City losing their talisman and the striker spending three months on the sidelines.
"I have never thought I won the battle," he told the Daily Mail. "My relationship with Carlos was not just good, but fantastic. I did everything I could for him in two years. And now we are in this position. I tried to speak with him. I said, 'Just apologise' but I don't know what was in his mind by then.
"I don't know his reasons. All I know is the club must always come first; ahead of me, ahead of players. So there is no fight that has been won, just a sad moment really.
"I understand what people are saying. It was an important time for the club and for the game. It was important to set an example to the players here. And I knew from the start that we had to change the perception of Manchester City, because many thought we were lucky to have these players.
"We needed to show players should want to play for us, that we are like Manchester United or Chelsea. And we are getting there. It is a different situation from two years ago.
"We cannot have players that think they are favouring us by being here; maybe Carlos thought so, I do not know. But it is not like a win because it is sad if it ends this way."
City have been linked with a move for Roma's Italy international Daniele De Rossi, who is out of contract in the summer, although Mancini is unsure if he will ever leave the Giallorossi.
"We have three strikers, plus Samir (Nasri), David (Silva) and Adam Johnson. Maybe we need one midfielder if we can do it," he continued.
"De Rossi is a top player, like Yaya, but he plays for Roma, a top team, and he was born there. I don't know if he will leave."
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