Raheem Sterling has been told by Pep Guardiola that he is still very much wanted by Manchester City as contract extension talks drag on.
The 23-year-old already has a deal with the Premier League champions through to 2020, but those at the Etihad Stadium are eager to put fresh terms in place.
No agreement has been reached as yet, though, casting doubt over the forward’s long-term future.
Guardiola is aware of the uncertainty and hopes a compromise can soon be reached which suits all parties and allows the England international to remain part of his plans.
The Catalan coach said of a player who netted 23 times across all competitions last season: "There's no doubt we want him.
"He knows, his agent knows. We want him. Txiki [Begiristain, City's director of football] spoke with him.
"It's clear since the first day I arrived we want him, but the deals are the deals, and the agents are the agents, and the players are the players.
"So, at the end, I don't know what is going to happen, but I assure you 100 per cent that the club, myself like a manager, sport director, even his team-mates - we want him to stay longer here."
City are planning with Sterling at present, with a Community Shield clash with Chelsea on Sunday set to lead them into a Premier League season opener against Arsenal on August 12.
Big things are expected of the Blues following their record-breaking exploits in 2017-18 and Guardiola insists he is as hungry as ever for success.
"The fear to lose the games makes me starving and hungry again.
"I don't like the feeling to lose games, it's not good for any manager around the world.
"All the managers try to avoid that feeling where you lose a game. You feel guilty, you feel bad, your private life is not good and your relationship with the players is not good.
"So that's why to avoid that, just with that simple fear to lose a game, makes you hungry."