Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci called Manchester City during the summer to try to push through a move, says the Premier League club's chief executive Ferran Soriano.
Bonucci impressed during Italy's run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 and was regularly linked to City after Etihad Stadium boss Pep Guardiola labelled him "one of my favourite ever players".
Those comments came after Juve faced Guardiola's Bayern Munich last season, with reports the Catalan subsequently made a mega bid for the defender only to be turned down by Juventus.
And Soriano has now claimed that the admiration turned out to be mutual, stating that Bonucci had asked about the possibility of joining City.
"At the moment there are a lot of players that want to play under Pep," he told Barcelona-based radio stadio RAC1. "The Italian central defender Bonucci wants to play for him and he called us.
"I called the Juventus sporting director [Fabio Paratici] and he told me they didn't want to sell. There ended the story."
One story seemingly set to run and run is the one linking Barca superstar Lionel Messi to City, with Guardiola fielding questions on the issue ahead of the teams meeting at Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Soriano backed up Guardiola's version of events, maintaining City only made enquiries to the club over goalkeepers Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo, with the latter now first choice at the Etihad Stadium.
"The natural thing is that Messi ends his sporting career with Barcelona, but if one day he calls us, we'll pick up the phone and we'll immediately open the door [to him]," Soriano said. "But no, we will not call him.
"City didn't get in contact with any Barca players and we didn't make any offers.
"It's what happened with Cesc [Fabregas] a few years ago. His agent came to us to try and do a deal and we advised Barcelona, although I still saw a front cover saying: 'Soriano after Cesc'.
"There were other times, too, but the relationship with [Barcelona president Josep Maria] Bartomeu is really good.
"Our relationship with Barca is good. There are agents that call Barca saying they have an offer from City and then [Barca] call us to see if it's true and we deny it."
On Bravo and Ter Stegen, Soriano added: "It was brought to our attention that both want to play every game and weren't happy with the situation.
"From there we talked with Barca and we asked if they wanted to sell one. Bravo ended up coming."