Roberto Mancini has vented his frustration at Manchester City's lack of activity in the transfer market, claiming the Premier League champions must strengthen their squad if they are to retain their crown.
Mancini is growing impatient that there have been no new signings, hinting that they are in danger of missing out on Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, who has said he will not pen a new contract at Emirates Stadium.
The City manager is conscious of the need to add to his squad in order to combat the expected challenges posed by the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, but he says he is not in control of the club's signings.
Speaking ahead of Friday's friendly against Arsenal in Beijing, Mancini pointed the finger at Brian Marwood, who has remained in Manchester rather than travel with the squad to China.
"For this question, speak to the man in charge. I am not in charge of this," he said. "It is important [to bring players in] because, after what we did last year, it is important we continue to win.
"This year will not be easy. It will be harder than last year and for this reason, we need to improve our team. But I am not the man in charge of this. We have a man who works for this and we hope that they can do a good job."
City face a battle to land Van Persie - rivals United have publicly declared their interest in the Dutchman - prompting Mancini to remain coy when discussing the star striker.
"It is difficult to say at this moment. Van Persie is an Arsenal player, not our player. He is a fantastic player, but we have four strikers and with those strikers we won the title last year.
"Van Persie is a fantastic player, but he is an Arsenal player."