Manchester City is determined to avoid breaching its pay structure, even if it means omitting the highest goals, sources from ESPN FC said.
Premier League champions were in the race to sign midfielder Ajax Franky de Jong before agreeing to join Barcelona in a € 75 million deal.
ESPN FC said Barca was the first choice of De Jong, but City retired when it did not want to compare to the wage at the age of 21 – it is reported to be about 16 million euros per year plus bonuses that can be earned .
De Yong was City's best goal in their efforts to find Henri Fernandinho's successor, who is 34 years old before the start of next season.
But this is not the first time they have withdrawn from a salary deal after leaving Alexis Sanchez's salary when he left Arsenal to join Manchester United 12 months ago.
The city is determined to take a more pragmatic approach to wages and try to avoid friction in the team.
Pep Guardiola also said it was difficult for Manchester City to challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid on the transfer market and that they should do business quickly.
"If you are the only one who wants players, it's easy. But if you want one and many, many clubs want it, that's more complicated, especially if it's Madrid or Barcelona," he said.
The signing of a retaining midfielder in the summer remains a priority for City with Lebanese Tangi Nodbele and Husem Awar and Ruben Nevez of the wolves among the list of potential alternatives.