Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has reiterated the Blues will not allow Carlos Tevez to leave the club on loan.
City officials will meet their AC Milan counterparts on Thursday in an attempt to reach a deal. Milan have already said they do not have the cash just now to buy Tevez outright, but it seems unless they do, the fiery Argentina star will not be joining the Serie A giants.
"I hope we can find a good solution for us and Carlos," said Mancini. "We want Carlos to come back and play football and the best solution for us is to sell him. We can't let him leave on loan."
With Tevez currently still in Argentina, City's stance runs the risk of extending the present impasse beyond the January transfer deadline.
However, as Mancini outlined, there is a simple reason behind the Blues' position.
"When Manchester City buy a player, they have to pay a lot of money," he said. "But when we want to sell them, they have to go on loan. This is not good. It is not correct for the other players.
"Manchester City paid Carlos a lot of money for three years. It is correct that if one club, it could be Milan, Juventus, PSG, Inter, want him, they pay Carlos for his value. This is correct."
Meanwhile, Mancini has challenged Mario Balotelli to temper his wayward streak. The young Italian has become a crowd favourite at City and, as he proved during Sunday's encounter with Arsenal, is capable of making a match-winning contribution for the club.
However, there have also been far too many off-the-field scrapes which Mancini feels are holding the youngster back.
"Mario can improve every week and every month," he said. "He is young and when you are a young player, you improve always. I hope the New Year can bring a different way for him and that he can understand if he wants to play well and have a good private life, he should have good behaviour always, not for one week yes and then change for two days."