After a long playing career spent impeding the progress of Liverpool, Steve Bruce seemed intent on reprising the role as a manager yesterday as he told the Merseysiders they would have to come up with an 'absolutely massive' offer before he would even consider selling Matthew Upson.
The Birmingham City boss, who played at the heart of Manchester United's defence for nine years, also emphasised the club's strong financial position and drew the attention of any potential suitors for Upson to the fact that his side is underpinned by the vast combined wealth of the Gold brothers and David Sullivan.
Put simply, Blues don't need to sell their prized defensive asset, don't want to and with Upson still tied to a long-term contract, there seems little European champions Liverpool can do other than put several noughts on the end of any fee they intended paying for the former Arsenal centre-back.
Speculation over the 25-year-old's future has been mounting all summer following his refusal to sign an extension to his existing deal at the end of last season.
That led to conjecture that he was not happy at Blues, which only intensified when his agent, Barry Neville stated his client's desire to play European football, particularly in a World Cup year.
And with doubts emerging over the longevity of Reds' stalwart defender Sami Hyypia, rumours began to suggest Upson would be moving to Anfield to partner Jamie Carragher. Not if Bruce has anything to do with it.
"He [Upson] has got three years left, so it would have to take one hell of an offer," he said yesterday.
"The offer would have to be absolutely massive - at least double-figure millions. We don't even want to contemplate putting a price on him."
Bruce also tried to warn off Liverpool with the size of his employers' financial muscles.
"When you have got owners like we have, anybody who wants to come and buy him has got to pay huge, huge money," he said. "Matty is an England centre-half, he is 25, and we have got a nice big sugar daddy.
"I see there are ridiculous figures being spoken of, like £4 million or £5m, but no chance, absolutely no chance.
I keep laughing at those figures and there is no fee written into his contract that would trigger a move."
One man who is changing clubs, though, is Walter Pandiani after Birmingham finally reached an agreement with Deportivo La Coruna and thereby ended a transfer saga that has run since before the end of the last campaign.
Bruce said that the he was "99.9 per cent certain" that the Uruguayan striker would be a Blues player very soon for a fee of around £3.5 million.
"We do not foresee any problems," he said before praising the 29-year-old's commitment to joining the club where he played 14 games on loan last season.
"The one thing that persuaded me to pursue him was Walter's desire to come back here," he said.
"He had various offers, two from Turkey which were unbelievable and a chance to return to the Premiership with other teams, but he wanted to come back here.
"I do believe that he will score us goals that will take us back where we want to be."
Meanwhile, Blues defender Kenny Cunningham will see a specialist today after being diagnosed with a partially punctured lung.
The Republic of Ireland centre-back sustained the injury after taking a bang on the ribs in last weekend's friendly at Queens Park Rangers. Bruce admitted Cunningham is now doubtful for the start of the Premiership season at Fulham on Saturday week.
The manager also revealed that Blues have had a bid for attacking midfielder Jason Euell turned down by Charlton Athletic but that the two clubs are still talking.
As are Birmingham and a host of other teams hopeful of taking Bruce's son Alex on loan.
The young centre-back spent the second half of the last campaign helping Sheffield Wednesday win promotion to the Championship. Paul Sturrock's Wednesday and Tranmere Rovers are two of half-a-dozen sides known to be interested.