Steve Bruce says it would take an 'outrageous' offer to persuade Wigan Athletic to sell Emile Heskey in January.
Heskey is out of contract at the end of the season and there have been reports that the Latics could cash in on the striker in the New Year.
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan did not rule out selling the England international, who has been strongly linked with a move to Aston Villa, rather than take the risk of losing him for nothing.
However, Bruce is not giving up hope of persuading Heskey to sign a new contract and concedes he would be reluctant to lose the 30-year-old.
"Emile is in his right, but we have right to say 'no'," said Bruce. "We still have three or four months to go until the end of the season.
"It might cost us 4 or 5million, but we have to weigh that up against the £30million we get next summer.
"I have not given up hope I can keep Emile here. The chairman has backed me 100 per cent on every decision I have made and I would expect him to do exactly the same thing in this situation.
"It has got to be an outrageous offer for me to even consider going to the chairman. Where do we find a replacement when we could be in a bit of a relegation battle?
"We have the England centre-forward. If we lose him in January, where does that leave us as a team and as a club?
"Even if we did get a big offer we would have to think if it was the right thing for the club. Obviously the prize is we stay in this division."