AC Milan vice president Adriano Galliani claims he is to meet with Manchester City on Thursday to discuss the possible signing of Carlos Tevez.
The defending Serie A champions want to sign the controversial Argentine on loan with a view to a long-term deal at the end of the season, but City would prefer to conclude a permanent arrangement in January.
City boss Roberto Mancini is eager to see Tevez's situation resolved after a long-running saga which has seen the striker fined and suspended before returning to South America.
Ligue 1 title contenders Paris St Germain have also been linked with a big-money move for the 27-year-old former Manchester United and West Ham star.
But the French club have said they will only attempt to sign Tevez if European heavyweights Milan fail in their efforts.
Galliani is optimistic Milan will be successful and the Italian supremo is set to fly to England this week in a bid to build momentum ahead of the January transfer window.
In comments reported by Italian news agency ANSA, Galliani said, "It's true I'm meeting them (City) Thursday, but I don't think the deal will be concluded that day."
Galliani then told Radio 1 Rai: "We're not going to take him outright: we're offering a free loan with the right to buy in June.
"The player wants to come to us and not PSG (Paris St Germain) and we hope City accept the offer."
Galliani also said signing Maxi Lopez, currently at Catania, was a "standby" option if Milan are unable to agree terms with City for Tevez.
Catania are expecting Lopez to leave during the January transfer window, with general manager Pietro Lo Monaco saying the club had received several offers for the Argentinian forward.
Milan leave for Dubai for their winter training camp on 29th December and Galliani admits it will be "almost impossible" for Tevez to join the rest of the squad.
Ex-captain Tevez has not played for City since refusing to warm up during a UEFA Champions League game against Bayern Munich in September.