Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has said the club “definitely” need to sign a striker despite being top of the Premier League while rarely picking anyone in a traditional striker role.
City have played without a recognized striker for most of the season, having lost Sergio Aguero in the summer.
The club also failed in their bid to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham.
“I think the club definitely needs a striker,” Guardiola said, speaking ahead of the Manchester derby on Sunday.
“You say we play fantastically well without a striker because we win. When we don’t win, you say we need a striker.”
The club’s all-time top scorer Aguero, who scored 260 goals in all competitions for City, left to reach Barcelona on a free transfer in July 2021.
Gabriel Jesus, who plays for Brazil, has been used more often as a winger by Guardiola this season.
Spain striker Ferran Torres played several games as a centre-forward earlier in the campaign, scoring twice against Arsenal in August, before signing in Barcelona in January.
Last month Guardiola revealed Spurs rejected four offers for Kane last summer, with City eventually signing England team-mate Jack Grealish for a British record £100 million in place.
City also bought Argentina international striker Julian Alvarez in January before immediately loaning him to River Plate – the 22-year-old has scored 39 times in 100 club appearances.
And they also came close to signing Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of his move to rivals Manchester United who they face on Sunday (kick-off 4.30pm GMT).
The lack of a traditional centre-forward led City’s Spanish manager to use Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling and Grealish to fill the role.
Despite this perceived weakness, only Liverpool have scored more than City’s 64 league goals in 27 games this season.
Sterling is the club’s top scorer in the Premier League with 10 goals.
City are three points clear of Liverpool, heading into United at the Etihad Stadium looking for a first home win against their bitter rivals in four games.
Still referring to press comments, Guardiola added: “[You say] ‘how do these guys play without a striker? In the Premier League you have to play with a striker”.
“So we need a striker, I think the club will try.”
Wanted Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland, 21, has been strongly bound with City and could be a target this summer.