Inter coach Roberto Mancini believes it will be difficult to sign Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure during the close-season transfer window.
Toure has one season remaining on his contract at City, who he joined during Mancini's tenure at the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2010-11 campaign.
The Ivory Coast international scored winning goals in the FA Cup semi-final and final that season and went on to play a central role in City's Premier League title triumph under Mancini in 2011-12.
He has continued to be an influential figure under Mancini's successor Manuel Pellegrini but doubt began swirling over the 32-year-old's long-term future after City confirmed Pep Guardiola would replace the Chilean from next season.
Guardiola sold Toure to City when he was in charge of Barcelona and the player's outspoken agent Dimitri Seluk has since resumed his familiar role of offering mixed messages regarding his client's long-term future.
Nevertheless, Mancini is not overly optimistic about the prospects of prizing a player he admires away from the Premier League.
"I always get asked a thousand questions about players," he told Premium Sport.
"I've said that with players who have good technique and personality we could improve. We'll see what happens.
"As for Toure, we're talking about a Manchester City player. That's why I say it won't be easy to operate on the transfer market.
"We'll evaluate opportunities as they arise."
Inter lie fourth in the Serie A table with three matches to play this season, their hopes of the title and Champions League qualification having faded since the turn of the year.