Man City are not in the Champions League right now. They haven't won a trophy in ages.
When RA took over Chelsea, they were already becoming more and more established. Thus, with the lure of Prem football, the Champions League, and a heavy wage packet, players wanted to go to Chelsea.
Even so, some of Chelsea's best dealings have been for the likes of Drogba, Essien, Robben, Cech, etc. These players were no doubt class, but they had played in weaker leagues. Chelsea not only offered Prem football but also European football. As a result, it was an opportunity for these players to make themselves more known by playing in a top league and perhaps more importantly, Europe. Mourinho utilized his connections to get Ferreira and Carvalho, again from a lesser-known league.
When you talk about huge stars at huge clubs, Chelsea balked at the price for Alves and Robinho, didn't get Kaka or Ronaldihno, didn't get Villa, failed in their bid for Torres, etc.
Chelsea successfully bought Makelele (unhappy at Madrid), Ballack (wanted to leave, on a free), Crespo (loan first), Shevchenko (Roman insisted), Deco (wanted to come due to Scolari, as did Bosingwa).
Chelsea had loads of money, but found out the limitations in attempting to form a "World XI."
These Man City owners seem extremely naive at the moment. They want:
1. Berbatov (always going to the Mancs)
2. Ronaldo (at Mancs, want to go to Madrid)
3. Torres (very happy at Anfield and grateful for Liverpool)
4. Fabregas (very happy at Arsenal)
What makes Man City so special? They got Robinho, but we all knew he was extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with Real Madrid and ended up with 160k+ wages!
With the cash, Man City would be better off stocking up on talent such as Hamsik, Huntelaar, Pandev, one of the talented Liege players, etc. These players can blossom in the Prem and become world class players. They would also be more open to a move as it would take them to the Prem, the best league in the world right now and are not going to demand CL football as a minimum requirement. They would see it as an opportunity to grow along with the club, something that the stars of today don't want as they want to be at the biggest clubs right now.
So if all this talk isn't PR, and that the Champions League-less Man City are indeed targeting the biggest names from the biggest clubs, then the owners are indeed seriously deluded.
The talking is done on the pitch. We'll see what Man City has to offer the rest of this year and next year. The fact that they are trying to crowd the attack and not finding a replacement for someone like Corluka shows that while this team can become a force, it can also become massive underachievers.