Have Barcelona just given up all hope of signing Marco Verratti? They just might have if we are to believe Josep Maria Bartomeu's latest comments.
The president has spoken at length to Mundo Deportivo and revealed how although Veratti "would love" to come to Barca, Paris Saint-Germain simply do not want to sell, and there's no release clause.
Time to look elsewhere? Quite possibly, the speculation surrounding Verratti has steadily grown more pessismistic by the day and Bartomeu certainly does not sound hopeful.
"Clubs want to negotiate. Look at Verratti, for instance, a player we're interested in signing, the coaches believe he is good enough to play in Barca's midfield," he told Mundo Deportivo.
"We know that the player would love to come to Barca but when you call PSG and you talk with the president [Nasser Al-Khelaifi], he says that he's not for sale and there is no release clause.
"As such, the president can decide if he feels like negotiating with us or not. In this sense, Spanish football is defenceless. Here, there are release clauses and there, there aren't.
"And outsiders can come and pay and we can't. So for now, we've not sat down with PSG, despite the player's willingness to come to Barca. We must accept it.
"We had it before with Cesc [Fabregas], when Arsenal did not want to hold talks with us for a year. They told us by letter and we had to accept it."
Bartomeu was pressed further on how the club could try to attempt to convince PSG to enter negotiations.
"There is no formula. If you do not want to sell a thing," he added. "The player has said that he wants to leave but PSG tells him that he will only be able to go but when his contract ends."
Verratti of course signed a new and improved contract only last summer that runs until 2021 and, currently at least, it looks like it may be time for Barca to look elsewhere (and no, not Paulinho).