Tony Pulis has refused to confirm or deny whether he is in the market for Kenwyne Jones and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
The Stoke City boss has admitted to being an admirer of both, but has stopped short of revealing whether or not they feature on his winter wish list.
The Potters have made no secret of their desire to bolster their attacking options during the January transfer window, with a host of top names linked with a switch to the Britannia Stadium.
Sunderland frontman Jones is reported to be Pulis' first choice, with Stoke chairman Peter Coates hinting that bid could be in the pipeline, but the experienced coach insists he has made no contact with Black Cats manager Steve Bruce.
"That situation is very disappointing because I've always tried to work manager to manager. I believe deals should be done that way," assessed Pulis of the gossip linking him to the Trinidad & Tobago star.
"As far as I'm concerned it's not gone to that stage. If I'm going to be doing anything I'll be speaking to Steve Bruce first.
"All this nonsense about what he's earning has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
"It's a case of do we want him and do they want to sell him? Brucie has said he doesn't want to sell him, and who's saying we want him?
"But if Steve came back and said he wanted £20million for Kenwyne Jones, I'm not sure Peter would pay that."
Pulis has also sought to play down speculation regarding an imminent approach for Real Madrid striker Van Nistelrooy, with the Potters chief not convinced that the Dutchman would want to swap life in Spain for that in Stoke.
"I'd take Van Nistelrooy tomorrow if we could afford him or he wanted to come to Stoke," he said.
"But going from Real Madrid to Stoke City, I'm not so sure that's sexy enough for him, but we'll see.
"What we've done is we've made enquiries for four or five people."