The Mirror says while Terry returned to Chelsea's Cobham training headquarters for his first meeting with new coach Carlo Ancelotti yesterday, no members of the Blues high command were there to welcome him.
And that has left City officials convinced it is a 'matter of time' before Terry is unveiled as the shock transfer upset of the summer.
With City maintaining they have been given assurances from sources close to Terry that he is ready to consider leaving the Bridge to become the figurehead of the Eastlands outfit, the absence of the Chelsea top brass at Cobham was seen as a further sign of estrangement between the player and the Blues.
City are understood to be taking huge encouragement from the lack of a public vow of loyalty to Chelsea by Terry while also claiming the Londoners have not told them directly to stay away from the player.
City are ready to wait "as long as it takes" up to the August 31 transfer deadline to get their man, in a mirror image of Chelsea's own drawn-out pursuit of Shaun Wright-Phillips from the Eastlands club four years ago.