Birmingham City have been given an unequivocal 'hands off' message from all levels of Coventry City after their £2 million bid for Gary McSheffrey was rebuffed.
Steve Bruce had targeted the 22-year-old Coventry striker, who scored 17 times for the Sky Blues last season, as he has money from the sale of Emile Heskey burning a hole in his pocket.
Yet near-neighbours Coventry, who are expecting to mount a promotion challenge themselves this season, have been steadfast in their response.
Chairman Geoffrey Robinson issued a terse rejection, stating that McSheffrey wasn't for sale. And those words received the full backing of Micky Adams.
The Coventry manager interrupted his pre-season tour of USA, where they are currently training at altitude, to confirm to The Post that McSheffrey would not be making the short journey up the M6.
"I don't want to say too much about it as the club have already made their feelings known in a statement," said Adams. "However, we are producing a squad to get back into the Premiership and that doesn't involve selling our best players.
"That includes Gary McSheffrey who I want to stay at the club."
Chief executive Paul Fletcher, who is at the crux of Coventry's three-year plan to return to the Premiership, was unequivocal in his support of Adams' stance.
"We don't intend to sell any of our players," said a bullish Fletcher.
"We have a three-year plan to reach the Premiership and at stage one of that plan, it would not be wise to sell our best players.
"I want to state that there is no ill-feeling between ourselves and Blues over this but we want to equip ourselves as best we can for the forthcoming campaign.
"I have just been out to Oregon and saw Gary in training. He looks in good shape, as do all of the lads."
Adams is more concerned with the positive effect their short tour to the USA has had on team morale. With seven new signings to bed in, their two-game tour has provided the new members of the squad to blend in to the surroundings.
"This trip has enabled the squad to spend a lot of time together, which has ensured all the new boys have settled in quickly," continued Adams.
"They are gelling together nicely and that can only benefit us when the season starts.
"I can't really single out any of the new boys as they are all working hard and it is tough for them as we are training at altitude.
"You really need to be out here for two weeks to feel the benefits of that, so it was nothing that was preplanned."
With McSheffrey out of the equation, Bruce will be hoping to persuade Collins John to drop into the Championship.
Fulham have accepted Birmingham's £3 million bid for the Dutch striker and talks are still ongoing with the player and his representatives to persuade him to make the move from Craven Cottage.