The Daily Mail says City officials flew into Barcelona last night with hopes raised and chequebook open - refusing to accept defeat in their bold attempt to capture Ronaldinho's signature and the completion of the biggest transfer coup in their history.
Ronaldinho's brother and agent Roberto de Assis emerged from a meeting with Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani to say: "It couldn't have gone better. Whether a deal will be done tonight though, we'll have to see."
Yet City's £22m offer has been accepted by the Spaniards and City's wage offer is more than double the Italian one. Only the lure of Milan's status is keeping them in the hunt with the player still preferring the San Siro.
A City source said: "If this happens, can anyone question the ambition of the owner now. First Mark Hughes, then Jo and now the very serious prospect of Ronaldinho."