Stuart Pearce is set to include Middlesbrough target Sylvain Distin in Manchester City's squad for the first game of the season on Sunday.
The Eastlands road outfit accepted a bid from The Riverside for the 28-year-old earlier this week, but City's manager has clearly not given up on the player.
Having already lost a key element of the backline with David James' departure to Portsmouth, Pearce is happy to keep the French centre back in his team.
"We'd accepted an offer from Middlesbrough for him and I'm led to believe, at this moment in time, that he can't agree personal terms with them," Pearce told Sky Sports News.
"If he ends up staying at Manchester City I'll be delighted, so he'll be part of our squad on Sunday, it's as simple as that at the moment."
Striker Andy Cole, new midfielder Dietmar Hamann and captain Richard Dunne are City's biggest doubts for the game against Chelsea, but Pearce is positive ahead of the new campaign.
"Coley and Didi Hamann are probably my main two concerns at this moment in time," Pearce continued.
"Apart from that we're not doing so bad, everyone else has come through and we have arrived at this stage of the season fully fit and with the majority of players available for selection.
"He's [Dunne] trained for the last two days and has looked pretty good which is a big bonus for me.
"Every football club across the country wants to have 100 percent of their squad available for the first game after the rigours of a pre-season under their belt."
City take on the champions at Stamford Bridge live on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday.