Wolverhampton Wanderers have slapped a firm 'Not for Sale' tag on star defender Joleon Lescott following reports that he has turned down a new contract offer at Molineux.
The former England Under-21 international still has two years to go before his existing deal runs out.
The club would like to tie him up on a longer-term contract, not only to spearhead this season's anticipated promotion campaign but also to help establish them in the Premiership in the years ahead.
But, while they have still never fielded a single bid for Lescott, Wolves are already preparing themselves to ward off any potential suitors.
"All I've got to say about it is that he's got two years left on his current deal and we don't discuss contract situations outside the player and his agent," said manager Glenn Hoddle. "
"Joleon's still young and he's still learning the game and, having overcome a horrendous injury, everyone can see what a very, very good player he is.
"But, at the end of the day and I've said it once already, he's not for sale. It's as simple as that. End of story."
There might come a point, especially if Wolves do not go up this season, when they have to accept an offer for Lescott.
In which case, they would only want the very best clubs for a player who they have nurtured through the ranks.
For now, though, Hoddle is more interested in buying than selling.
Derby County's attackminded midfield player Inigo Idiakez remains his top target, despite having two bids turned down and Hoddle is hoping that the words 'Not for Sale' have more of a hollow ring at Pride Park than he insists they do at Molineux.
"They say he's not for sale and you've got to respect that but, until that transfer window is shut, anything can happen in football," he said. "We've all been long around long enough to know that.
"Following the sale of Henri Camara [to Wigan Athletic], there is a pot, but it's something for [chief executive] Jez Moxey and myself to speak about as to how big it is.
"I'm still looking for new players. There's a list I've identified and there's a few opportunities which will happen quickly, if they happen at all.
"You know there's going to be some you get and some you don't. Jackie McNamara happened very quickly and proved very easy but it's not always that way.
You've got to add the right sort of players, rather than just bring bodies in for the sake of it.
"Hope is not a guarantee but there's a few Premiership sides who might want to ease a few players out on loan before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month and I'm expecting there to be a bit of a bunfight."