Manchester City face having to axe at least one of its foreign stars with Javi Garcia, Alvaro Negredo and Matija Nastasic facing the chop.
City are close to finalising a move for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala but must lose an overseas player from their squad to comply with the Premier League quota which allows a maximum 17 foreign players who are aged 21 and over.
But even if Manuel Pellegrini sanctions one overseas player's transfer, he faces selling another to meet the Champions League regulation of 16 foreign imports.
Homegrown players Joleen Lescott and Gareth Barry have already departed City this summer and flops Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair will also leave the club.
Uefa imposed a £49 million transfer cap on the Premier League champions last season for breaching Financial Fair Play rules and ruled City's 21-man Champions League squad must contain at least eight homegrown players,
However, the punishment was watered down by the governing body and City will head into next season's European showpiece tournament having to name five home grown players.
Pellegrini has so far acted quickly in the transfer window, capturing Mangala (£32million), Fernando Reges (£12m), Bruno Zuculini (£1.5m) and Bacary Sagna, who signed from Arsenal on a free transfer.
The deals take City close to their £49m spending limit and if the Blues are to dip back into the market, Pellegrini must use funds generated through sales.
One player considered safe from the pruning at City is Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegrin striker made just 16 appearances last season and scored six times, but potential suitors Inter Milan were told the 24-year-old was not for sale.
Speaking to Sky Italia, Inter director Piero Ausilio said: "To be completely honest with you, we did contact Man City and they told us he's not for sale."