Manchester City are confident that club captain Fernandinho will still be at the Etihad next season.
The Premier League champions are making progress in their efforts to persuade the 36-year-old Brazilian to sign a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the month.
Fernandinho is looking for a two-year extension after being inundated with offers from Europe and South America.
City have only been willing to put a 12-month offer on the table.
But talks have also taken place about the midfielder continuing to play a role inside the City Football Group once he hangs up his boots.
Fernandinho has been included on the Premier League’s official list of players who are about to become free agents.
And when took to his Twitter account in the aftermath of City’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea to thank fans for their support over the last eight years, it was construed as an admission that his Etihad career was over.
But club insiders insist that his message should not be construed as a goodbye.
Boss Pep Guardiola regards the former Atletico Paranaense and Shakhtar Donetsk enforcer as a huge influence at the club – both on and off the pitch.
Fernandinho is always at the centre of player meetings and has played a key role in recent years in welcoming new signings to the Etihad.
City paid Shakhtar £34million for him in 2013 after he had won six Ukrainian titles and the UEFA Cup.
He has since lifted four Premier League titles, the FA Cup and six League Cups in Manchester.
City are targeting a new defensive midfielder this summer – and Guardiola is an admirer of West Ham’s Declan Rice.
The Hammers’ current £100million-plus valuation of the England midfielder is too rich for City.
But the fact that Guardiola does not want to lose Fernandinho puts doubts over the future of £62million Spaniard Rodri.
The 24-year-old made 53 appearances for City last season but was left on the bench when City lost to Chelsea in Porto.