Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has refused to rule out a January transfer move for Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones.
Both the Potters and Premier League rivals Birmingham City have been linked with the Trinidad and Tobago star.
But Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has questioned whether either club has the financial muscle to land the striker, after suggesting Jones is worth £40million at his best.
While Coates has acknowledged that the club have yet to open detailed discussions with Sunderland, he has not ruled out the possibility of landing the forward.
"I don't know what they want for him, so I can't say whether we can afford him or not," Coates told The Sentinel.
"Until I know what he (Bruce) is looking for, it's impossible to say if he's right in what he is saying.
"We've had no talks with them and so no figures have been mentioned. I don't know what sort of deal might be available.
"If he's looking for what he thinks we regard as silly money, then he would be right.
"But it's not a case of what we can afford, it's a case of what we regard as good value. We are in the phoney war at the moment, when we are seeing what's happening in the market place."
Jones is no stranger to the Britannia Stadium, having played 16 games for Stoke while on loan from Southampton between February and May 2005.