Stuart Pearce insists he is still hopeful of breaking the contract impasse that has led to sustained speculation regarding Sylvain Distin's future at Manchester City.
Reports in the English media claimed on Thursday that the French defender has rejected a final offer of £40,000-per-week and is now prepared to let his contract expire in the summer.
Distin turned down a move to Middlesbrough in the summer in order to stay at Eastlands, but City have shown no signs of being able to match his demands and the defender will be free to talk to any interested parties in January.
However Pearce is still insistent a deal could yet be concluded which would see Distin commit his future to City.
"We have been talking with Sylvain for a year-and-a-half regarding his contract," Pearce said on Sky Sports News.
"If you ask me whether Sylvain still enjoys playing his football here - yes he does.
"You only have to look at his form for us, it has been very good.
"I honestly believe he will end up signing a new contract here.
"Now whether that is next week, tomorrow, today or in the summer when his contract actually finishes, he has to make a decision one way or another.
"I still feel as though he will be a Manchester City player."
Pearce has also been forced to fend off reports that teenage star Micah Richards is set for a January move to Chelsea.