Sven Goran Eriksson hopes Manchester City's bid to sign Mark Bresciano is still alive.
The Australia international has been training with City as he looks to secure a move from Palermo.
But the Italian club revealed earlier in the week that the deal has stalled after claiming City had reneged on the original agreement.
City boss Eriksson is refusing to give up on the transfer, but concedes it is unlikely to be revived in time for the season opener against West Ham United on Saturday.
"I hope it is still alive, but there were some problems," said Eriksson on Sky Sports News.
"He was here, he trained with us and he's a very, very good player. We knew that before, of course.
"I hope it's still alive and I hope, at the end, he will play for us.
"Today's Thursday, so I think it's difficult to do something before the game against West Ham on Saturday, but I should welcome it if it happens."
Eriksson is also in the market for a goalkeeper after losing No.1 Andreas Isaksson for six weeks to injury.
The Sweden international has fractured a thumb, leaving Eriksson with Joe Hart as his current option for Saturday's game with West Ham.
When asked if Hart would start at Upton Park, Eriksson replied: "If you wait until this afternoon, or tomorrow morning, I will tell you.
"We are working on solutions here, so I'm not quite sure about it today.
"We have only two goalkeepers in this moment. We know Isaksson is away for around six weeks, so maybe it's something we have to do."