Roy Keane claims he would be 'lynched' if he sold Connor Wickham after Sunderland boss Steve Bruce confirmed an interest in the Ipswich Town striker.
Wickham is rated as one of the brightest prospects outside the Premier League and recently signed his first professional contract at Portman Road.
He has been linked with several clubs in the top flight, with Bruce admitting earlier this week that he is aware of the 17-year-old's promise.
Reports suggested Bruce would include David Healy and Daryl Murphy, who are currently on loan at Ipswich, as part of a deal, but Keane has stressed Wickham is going nowhere.
"We shouldn't talk about Connor Wickham like a piece of meat, like we're trying to sell him to the highest bidder," insisted Keane.
"We're under no pressure to sell and Sunderland wouldn't be able to afford him anyway!
"They could swap 20 of their players, and Brucey knows that.
"And if he has said it, he shouldn't be talking about our players. I think he was just asked whether he was aware of Connor Wickham, and Brucey well knows that, because I'll be on the phone to Brucey later!
"If he's not aware of Connor, then he must be living on a different planet, not least because of the speculation of the last few months, before his contract was signed
"I'd be lynched by the supporters if I thought about selling him. Connor's learning his trade and is doing well."