Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has ruled out a foray into the January transfer market for long-admired Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
De Rossi, 28, is out of contract at the end of the season and has thus far been unable to agree terms on a new deal with the Giallorossi.
The Italy international has been touted as a potential City signing for some time and Mancini stated in November that he would be interested in bringing him to Eastlands.
"If De Rossi is one day available on the market then Manchester City will be ready, as will Real Madrid, Chelsea and all the big clubs," Mancini said.
"He's a top player, one of those few players who can get into the very best teams in the world. He's a complete midfielder, with class and experience."
But despite City losing key midfielder Yaya Toure in January to the African Nations Cup, Mancini has played down the chances of a swoop for De Rossi, who was born in Rome and has played at the Stadio Olimpico his entire career.
"I don't think so,'' Mancini said when asked about a move for De Rossi. "De Rossi was born in Rome and it's unlikely that he'll leave the city.
"There are players that could be good for us. But every time we want to buy a player their clubs ask for lots of money.''
Mancini admits that he may have to look to bring in reinforcements in January, particularly if his Premier League leaders suffer injury problems, but stressed that he is also still planning to offload some of his fringe players.
"We need to sell two or three players and then we'll see,'' he said. "Until now we have been lucky because we haven't had any big injuries.
"I hope it can be like that in January but if not, we may have time to buy someone. It's not easy though. I asked the owner for [Lionel] Messi but it's not possible.''