Manchester City will have to offload around 12 players before the transfer window closes at the end of next month - otherwise they will be left with players they are unable to play.
New Premier League rules state that a club must submit a squad of 25 players on September 1, and only those players will be eligible to be named in a matchday squad. Clubs can supplement that list with an unlimited number of players aged 21 or under, but in Manchester City's case they are currently well over the 25-man limit.
Players such as Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy, Jo, Felipe Caicedo, Micah Richards, Michael Johnson, Vincent Kompany, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Stephen Ireland, Nigel De Jong, Kelvin Etuhu, Pablo Zabaleta and Nedum Onuoha could find themselves out in the cold if they are still at Eastlands when the transfer window closes. Robinho is also officially still a City player.
And City could be forced to accept reduced fees for these players as rival clubs look to take advantage of their situation.
Manager Roberto Mancini said: "I know that we must sell some players because in 20 days [sic] we must have a list with 25 players. I am disappointed because some players must change teams now. It is difficult for them to play for us. When you play in four competitions you must have a large squad because if not you have difficulties. For this it's important we have 25 players."
Unable to be registered for Premier League action, any player omitted from the 25-man squad will be forced to either go out on loan to a Football League club or spend four months kicking their heels until the winter transfer window.
And with City hoping to add James Milner to their ranks in the coming weeks they will have to offload yet another player to make way for the Aston Villa man in their team list.
Eight of the 25-man squad must be 'home grown', meaning they played in England or Wales for three seasons before their 21st birthday. City have no problem fulfilling that requirement.