Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has issued a firm hands-off warning to those chasing Joe Bennett.
The promising full-back is reported to be drawing Premier League interest, with a host of clubs monitoring his progress at the Riverside Stadium.
North East rivals Newcastle and Sunderland are among those keeping close tabs on the 21-year-old, while Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal are also keen.
Mowbray accepts that a big-money bid may force Boro's hand, but insists the club will not be inviting offers for the England U21 international.
He said: "We've sold David Wheater and Gary O'Neil to Premier League clubs in Bolton and West Ham. They were two of our better players.
"That's what we're going to have to do if we have players in our squad who are Premier League quality and clubs come knocking.
"We have to listen very seriously.
"What I would not like to do, if the salaries of the players they inquire about are not hurting us, is sell because we have to build a team.
"I haven't had any calls about Joe Bennett and I wouldn't welcome any. Joe has recently signed a new deal for four-and-a-half years and I think he's happy here.
"He's still a young boy. It depends what day you come and watch Joe Bennett. If you're a Premier League manager, coach or scout, some days he's unbelievable and could play for anybody.
"Other days, he's just a young boy playing left-back at the wrong end of the Championship.
"I think he needs to stay here and develop. We don't need to sell Joe Bennett."