That is the opinion of chief executive Ferran Soriano, with City working under strict orders from UEFA.
Sanctions have been handed down after breaking Financial Fair Play regulations, and that means City can no longer embark on elaborate spending sprees.
They have, however, been able to tie up moves for Bacary Sagna, Fernando Reges, Willy Caballero and Bruno Zuculini in the current window.
The new recruits have helped to add important depth to the reigning Premier League champions, but there are still areas to address.
Soriano concedes that bolstering the defensive ranks remains a top priority, with the likes of Mehdi Benatia and Eliaquim Mangala heavily linked with a big-money switch to the Etihad Stadium.
Soriano told the Men In Blazers podcast: “We don’t plan season by season, we plan in cycles. And cycles can be three, four, five seasons.
“One year ago, we knew the positions we wanted to reinforce in the team and we did it.
“We have a new right-back, we have a holding midfielder, we’ll have a new central defender and that’s it.
“We don’t need to sign new players for the sake of it.
“We need to sign players that the team needs because the team has a balance. To win you need to keep the balance.
“Our squad is very strong and it’s the second year that they play with Manuel Pellegrini, so they’ll do much better.”