Roberto Mancini has refused to rule out selling Edin Dzeko in the summer, but insisted reports that a move to Borussia Dortmund has been agreed are incorrect.
The Bosnian forward was rumoured to be joining the Bundesliga champions as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who looks likely to join Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
Dortmund, though, have denied a deal has been struck and Mancini said he hopes his 13-goal top scorer remains at the Etihad Stadium.
Mancini did admit, however, that the former Wolfsburg man might leave in the summer, while the striker has talked about returning to the Bundesliga in the future.
“Dzeko is an important player for us,” Mancini said. “We want him to stay here. At the moment, there is nothing [with Dortmund]. In the end, maybe, I don’t know. In the summer, it could be possible.”
Dzeko could be in line to start for City in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Barnsley, with Sergio Aguero still out with a knee injury.
Mancini hopes the Argentine, who sustained the problem in training last weekend, will be fit to return for the trip to Everton on March 16.
“I don’t think it is serious but in this moment we can’t take a risk with Sergio. We try to recover him for Everton,” he said.
Captain Vincent Kompany, who has been out since January with a calf problem, is still sidelined, while Jack Rodwell, who injured a hamstring in Monday’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa, will also be missing, along with right-backs Maicon and Micah Richards.
“Vinnie [Kompany] is training with the team but I don’t think we can risk Vinnie,” Mancini said. “Maybe he is ready for the next game against Everton. Jack is so-so. I think we need two or three weeks after the international break [before he can play again].”