Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce has not given up hope of persuading Sylvain Distin to stay with the club, despite Middlesbrough having had an offer accepted for the centre-half.
The 28-year-old Frenchman has rejected an offer to extend his stay with City and Distin will fall out of contract next summer, prompting Boro to move in to try and secure his signature.
However, Pearce feels that a move is not yet done and dusted.
He told the Manchester Evening News: "At this stage, for financial reasons, I have to offer Sylvain the chance to look elsewhere, but it would not surprise me if he said he wanted to stay.
"If he sits down with me and says he wants to stay, I would be delighted and I will keep on at him all year to sign a contract extension."
Distin joined City in the summer of 2002 for £4million from Paris St Germain, having impressed while on loan at Newcastle United during the 2001-02 campaign.
In total he has made 163 appearances for the Citizens, scoring just four times.