Samuel Eto'o seems certain to rebuff Manchester City's big-money advances later today.
Just as in their ill-fated pursuit of Kaka last January, City were given every indication by Eto'o's advisers that the Barcelona star was ready to quit the Nou Camp for a new challenge.
However, just as with the Brazilian, when decision time comes, Eto'o is likely to say no.
The move has a hint of politics at its heart, with the Cameroon star apparently unhappy Barcelona were prepared to cash in on him as he approaches the final year of his contract.
Instead, Barcelona will not pocket the Â£25million City were offering, with Eto'o free to leave the Champions League winners for nothing in 12 months.
"If there is not a 180-degree turnaround then he will stay with Barcelona," Eto'o's agent Josep Maria Mesalles told ONA FM.
It proves City will struggle to attract the marquee signing their Abu Dhabi-based backers have been looking for without the added lure of Champions League football.
Even the long-touted capture of Carlos Tevez will not be taken for granted until the Argentina star has signed on the dotted line at some point after July 1.
Hughes will continue to strive to bring in fresh faces, although he may have to increase his valuation of Â£15million to prise Everton defender Joleon Lescott away from Goodison Park.
Reports in Spain also suggest a Â£3.5million offer for Espanyol right-back Sergio Sanchez - a former team-mate of current City star Pablo Zabaleta. It is certainly expected manager Mark Hughes will have made more purchases before City head to South Africa for a three-match tour later this month.
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