Asked if goalkeeper Joe Hart, currently on loan at Torino, could return to Manchester City as his No. 1 for next season, manager Pep Guardiola replied: "I'm so happy with Willy and Claudio."
It was an answer that appears to put to bed any lingering hope that the England international could still have about a future at the Etihad, although the 29-year-old already presumed his City career was over.
Despite Chile international Claudio Bravo struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League since his summer switch from Barcelona, with 35-year-old reserve keeper Willy Caballero being forced to step in, there seems no way back for Hart.
But how did it get to this? Here's how Hart and Guardiola's fraught relationship has unfolded.
Guardiola only faced Hart twice before he arrived at the Etihad, when his Bayern Munich side played City in two Champions League group stage games in 2014.
Hart was the man of the match in the first game -- a 1-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena -- and made a string of fine saves before he was beaten by a last-minute deflected strike from Jerome Boateng. City took their revenge in the return game with a 3-2 victory, which was mostly due to the individual brilliance of Sergio Aguero who scored a hat trick.
Unknowingly, City fans were given glimpse of the future as Bayern repeatedly used goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as an extra defender to try to avoid a relatively high press. Neuer made 43 passes on the night -- with an 81 percent success rate. Hart made just 16 with only half of them successfully reaching their target.
Summer of discontent
Hart went into this season on the back of a disastrous Euro 2016 when he took responsibility for England's humiliating exit.
The keeper had already blundered in a group game against Wales when he failed to keep out Gareth Bale's 35-yard free kick but got away with it as England recovered to win 2-1. However, there was no such relief in the round-of-16 defeat to Iceland when Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's low shot squirmed underneath him in a shock 2-1 defeat.
Hart and City teammate Raheem Sterling were heavy criticised by fans and pundits for their performances. But, as Sterling's confidence took a dip during the tournament, Guardiola called the winger to reassure him that he was a major part of his plans.
Hart's future, however, was to remain uncertain until his loan departure on the final day of the transfer window.
Hart's fate may have been sealed in the unlikely venue of Gothenburg, Sweden during a preseason friendly against Arsenal on Aug 7. It was his first appearance for Guardiola's City after missing the preseason tour to China having been given extra time off following the European Championship.
City had been heavily linked with a move for a new keeper throughout the summer -- particularly Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen -- amid suggestions Guardiola wanted a keeper to be more comfortable with the ball at his feet.
Caballero and young keeper Angus Gunn attempted the tactic in preseason games against Bayern and Borussia Dortmund and, although it went horribly wrong on a couple of occasions, Guardiola was happy that the pair were trying. However, Hart who was a half-time substitute in the 3-2 defeat to the Gunners, looked less inclined to try risky passes -- often hitting the ball long... much to his manager's frustration.
Six days after the friendly with Arsenal, City kicked off the season with a 2-1 win over Sunderland and Caballero was given the nod as first-choice.
Hart made his one and only start for City this season three matches later, in a heavily-changed lineup for the comfortable Champions League victory over Steaua Bucharest when he appeared to wave goodbye to the fans as left the pitch.
Guardiola praised the keeper but did little to dissuade supporters it was anything other than a farewell. "I can't deny what I feel. I was honest with Joe, the club and myself and that's what I always try to do," he said after game.
Hart finally left for Italian side Torino seven days later when Bravo finally joined for around £17 million.
Back to the future
Torino admitted that they cannot afford to keep Hart past this summer and with seemingly no future at the Etihad, he will be looking for his third club in 12 months this summer.
But there will be shortage of interest of Premier League clubs interested with West Ham United reportedly leading the way. Liverpool could also be interested after suffering their own problems with Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet, while Chelsea may be in the market for a new No. 1 if Thibaut Courtois leads for Real Madrid.
Guardiola seems relaxed about selling to one of City's rivals and it's highly likely that Hart could reappear at the Etihad next season in the shirt of another team. He will certainly be desperate to show the City boss what he missed out on.