Pep Guardiola on Friday confirmed Manchester City’s interest in Harry Kane but he also accepted that Tottenham might not want to sell the England captain.
Kane is understood to want to leave Spurs and did not report back for pre-season training this week.
The English Premier League champions have been heavily linked with the striker throughout the summer.
But Spurs are thought to be reluctant to sell a player they reportedly value at 160 million pounds ($223 million).
Manchester City, who this week signed Jack Grealish for a British record fee, have said they would never pay that figure for Kane.
Guardiola admitted on Friday that a deal would be difficult to conclude.
The Manchester City manager said: “He is a player for Tottenham Hotspur. If Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, it is finished.
“If they are open to negotiate, it is not only Manchester City but many clubs in the world would want to try to sign him. We are not an exception.
“But it depends on Tottenham. It is different from Jack, Jack had a release clause.
“Harry Kane is an exceptional, extraordinary striker. There are no doubts about that. Of course we are very interested.
“But he is a Tottenham player. If they don’t want to negotiate there is nothing more to say. If they want it, we will try.”
Guardiola has also played down the suggestion Manchester City could sign Lionel Messi following the announcement that the six-time World Player of the Year is to leave FC Barcelona.
Manchester City were heavily linked with the Argentinian last year but a deal did not materialise.
Guardiola, who won the UEFA Champions League with Messi whilst at Barca, says they now have other plans.
He said: “We were incredibly convinced with Jack Grealish and we were convinced Leo would continue at FC Barcelona. Right now he is not in our thoughts, absolutely not.”