Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders spent in the region of £220million in the most recent transfer window as they completed an overhaul of the playing squad.
Tottenham Hotspurs are also directing a sizeable chuk of investment into the development of their stadium and as a result their manager believes they are not like the Manchester Clubs who can afford to spend so much on players.
Spurs, by contrast, spent just over £90m and ended the window with a profit, having sold Kyle Walker to City for close to £50m among a number of departures.
And Pochettino insists the club have little choice but to conduct themselves differently in the transfer market compared to their rivals.
Pochettino admits that it is tough trying to live with the Manchester clubs in particular, telling BeIn Sports: "The difference these days between clubs in the Premier League is that there are clubs, like City and United, who sign who they want and when they want".
'Then there are big teams, like us, who sign when we can and who we can.
Spurs, who now sit 3rd in the Premier League table behind the two Manchester clubs, return to action this Saturday with a league clash versus Bournemouth at White Hart Lane.