Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini appears resigned to losing out in the race to sign Robin van Persie this summer.
Along with local rivals United and Italian giants Juventus, City are one of the clubs interested in Van Persie, who last month announced he would not be signing a new contract with Arsenal.
However, the prospects of the Dutchman making the move to the Etihad Stadium now look remote with Mancini admitting he does not expect to have the player in his ranks next season.
The Italian was quoted as saying by various newspapers: "Van Persie? No, I don't think he will come here."
Van Persie, who finished as top scorer in the Premier League last season, is thought to favour a move to City's rivals United with Sir Alex Ferguson confident of winning the race for the 29-year-old.