Pep Guardiola has appeared to rule out a January exit for Joao Cancelo by saying Manchester City sign players "for many years, not for six months".
Cancelo joined City from Juventus ahead of the 2019-20 season but has struggled to hold down a place in Guardiola's XI, starting just four Premier League matches.
The right-back has consequently been linked with mid-season moves to both his former club Valencia and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
However, Guardiola insists Cancelo, 25, was a long-term signing and a departure is therefore unlikely at this stage.
"Today he was training with us," the City manager said. "In the last month, Kyle [Walker, the first-choice right-back] was the best Kyle I have faced. I have given continuity to him.
"[Cancelo] is adapting and has special quality. He can help us in many, many games.
"There are many rumours about how many players we are going to buy in the summer, so I don't comment on rumours. Rumours are rumours.
"Until the agents call, or we call the agents to buy other players, I don't take any interest in that.
"We buy players for many years, not for six months. But what happens will happen. I don't know what's going to happen in a few weeks. In the summer, we're going to discuss.
"If one player is not happy and wants to leave, it's simple. They have to call to the club, reach an agreement and he will leave. If he doesn't agree, he will stay here. It's as simple as that."
Guardiola is not expecting any incoming transfers either in January, suggesting City cannot afford to splash out and only a unique opportunity, as when Aymeric Laporte joined two years ago, could change his thinking.
"I took that decision. We could not invest in the summer, why would we be able to invest in December? I like my squad," Guardiola said. "I have problems with injuries.
"If I have an opportunity, like it happened with Aymeric Laporte, the release clause, we knew the potential of the player, we could do it. But that's not the position now. I don't think the market gives us this opportunity.
"I never say never, of course. We could have 25 injuries in the next two games and then we have to buy, or maybe two or three players want to leave in the transfer window.
"Then the club get money and we can invest. It can happen. But in the summer, we could not do what we could not do for money [reasons]. We could not invest more.
"We could not invest in the summer, so why could we invest three or four months later? It makes no sense, so that's why we will wait until summer time."