Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City will go back in for Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez over the summer.
The Algeria international has spent much of the last two windows trying to force his way out of the King Power Stadium.
Transfer requests have been tabled by the want-away 26-year-old, but Leicester’s demands and reluctance to sell have seen an unsettled star blocked from heading for the exits.
Premier League leaders City are the latest side to have been left frustrated , having mounted a late winter bid to land the 2016 PFA Player of the Year, but they are prepared to rekindle their interest at the end of the season.
Guardiola told Sky Sports when quizzed on his pursuit of Mahrez: "He's a Leicester player.
“Everybody knows we were trying but we cannot afford, in this moment, this amount of what they are asking. I understand perfectly.
"We tried to do it in the summertime, we tried to do it now, but like summer, they locked the door.
"It was not possible. With [Aymeric] Laporte, yes, with the other one, no. We are going to see what happens in the summer."
Said interest led the Foxes star to hand in his latest transfer request, but Leicester refused to budge.
City were willing to go as high as £65m in their pursuit of another creative influence, but their Premier League rivals are understood to have been demanding as much £95m .
As a result, no deal was done and Guardiola was unable to bring in cover for Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus during their respective injury-enforced spells on the sidelines.