Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has admitted Manchester City are "dominant in the market" after outbidding the Spanish giants to sign Serbia full-back Aleksander Kolarov.
Kolarov joined City last month for £16m as part of another remarkable summer of team strengthening which has seen their Middle East owners plough more than £100m into the club.
And Mourinho, who joined Madrid after leading Inter Milan to a domestic and European treble last season, concedes even they can't compete.
"I understand that if someone wants to compete with them for a player it is very difficult, they are dominant in the market," he said.
"The player they say they want is the player they get.
"I was interested in Kolarov when I came here but I couldn't compete with them.
"If they have the money they can do it, if they have the ambition to win the Premier League they can do it."
Mourinho believes this season's Premier League title race is between City, Manchester United and his old club Chelsea.
"I believe Chelsea, Man United and Man City, that's it," he added, before dismissing the chances of Liverpool.
Mourinho also ruled out the possibility of signing Chelsea striker Didier Drogba and City's Emmanuel Adebayor.