Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has launched a scathing attack on Liverpool following their pursuit of Kenwyne Jones.
The Merseyside club are known to have been keen to lure Jones to Anfield, and had been looking to take him on loan for the rest of the season.
Bruce has now reacted with fury and claims they have 'unsettled' Jones with an attempt to land him on loan, which he labelled as 'outrageous'.
"I know my chairman feels the same, it is quite disrespectful what is happening, not only unsettling the player publicly, but they are probably doing it privately," Bruce told Sky Sports News.
"Certainly Rafa Benitez hasn't spoken to me, as far as I am aware nobody has talked to my chief executive, or the chairman - nobody from Liverpool, and to try and say we are going to let our centre-forward go to Liverpool on loan, is just embarrassing really.
"To unsettle him like they are is totally outrageous, it is like us trying to get Steven Gerrard on loan.
"What the hell are they thinking of that they can do a loan? All it does is that it upsets Kenwyne, and we might very well have a disillusioned player on our hands, that is for sure - that is the way we are.
"I have said openly no matter who you are, there is always a price, however to try and get Kenwyne Jones on loan - and this all through agents, words baffle me to be honest."
Bruce admits that he will be talking with Jones in order to try and assure him of his future with Sunderland.
"It could unsettle him and I will have to have a conversation with him and put him in the picture," he said.
"His head might be turned privately for all I know - and I did have a conversation with him last week over a couple of other clubs, but this notion, for us to let him go to Liverpool on loan...do us a favour.
"I am very confident, that certainly on a loan, it is not even an issue - I have always said no matter what club your at every player, even the best player in the world Ronaldo, had his price."
Despite his annoyance, Bruce continues to admit that they would be willing to listen to offers if a 'substantial' bid was made.
"If Liverpool come in and are sensible, we will think about it and have a discussion about it, but with a week of the transfer window left it would have to be a substantial amount of money for us to even contemplate letting our centre-forward go," he continued.
"But as I said everyone has his price, that is not to say he is for sale - that is the reality, if Liverpool, Man City or Chelsea knock on the door - I have had it before, with Palaciois [at Wigan] last year, the offer was that good we had to let him go."