Manchester City were rebuffed in their attempts to land talented Internazionale star Milan Skriniar in the January transfer window.
That is according to Calciomercato, who has claimed that Pep Guardiola saw a £57m offer for the centre-back rebuffed by the Serie A club last month.
That bid came about in spite of City's huge interest in prising eventual arrival Aymeric Laporte away from Athletic Bilbao for the same price, and it may be that Guardiola was covering his bases in case he couldn't land his top target in the French centre-back.
Skriniar has been in superb form for Inter throughout this season, and is viewed as a rising star in Europe ever since he made the move to San Siro from Sampdoria last August.
The 22-year-old reportedly has plenty of admirers across Europe's biggest five leagues including a number of clubs in the Premier League, but it was City who were the only team to officially register their interest in him during the winter transfer window.
His form for I Nerazzurri has led to claims that it is only a matter of time before he departs Italy altogether in search of a new challenge, although this paper talk could just be down to Inter's sudden implosion in Italy's top flight.
Luciano Spalletti's men had been top of the division heading into the winter break but now find themselves three place and a whopping 15 points behind league leaders Napoli thanks to a seven-match winless run.
Indeed, Inter have drawn their past five league matches and, if they fail to qualify for next season's Champions League, may be forced to sell of a number of key stars to balance the books and hold off supposed sanctions from UEFA over financial fair play.
Skriniar's stock is high at the moment and it could well be that interested parties try and swoop for the Slovakia international if Inter are forced to let one or two big players go this summer.