"Clubs don't want to sell now, but maybe they will in the summer. We need to work now, so that it is not like last year," The Mirror quotes Mancini as saying.
"I have meetings with Txiki every week and we talk about the summer. It will be easier to get players in the summer if we work hard, well and quickly now.
"You can't start looking at players in May because all the good ones are gone and it becomes impossible."
Procrastination last summer saw the Blues miss out on their number one target Robin van Persie, who joined local rivals Manchester United, and Mancini does not want a repeat of the situation that led him to publicly express his disappointment with the club.
"Last year we didn't work well," he said. "It's important we start now.
"Now's the time we can close in on some good players for the summer. It's difficult in January to find really good players for us."
City entertain Liverpool today.