Sam Allardyce insists Roque Santa Cruz will be going nowhere unless he can find a suitable replacement.
The Blackburn boss has so far rebuffed three approaches from Manchester City for the talented Paraguayan.
Allardyce has made it clear that the striker is crucial to his Ewood Park plans, suggesting at one stage that £40million would not be enough to tempt him into a sale.
While he remains determined to retain Santa Cruz's services, he does appear to have relaxed his stance.
With City expected to make one last bid before the January transfer window closes, Allardyce insists the ongoing saga has never been about money, it is more to do with his failure to find someone to fill the sizeable void which would be created.
"I've spent much time deliberating and watching players throughout Europe, building a 'what if' scenario," he told the Lancashire Telegraph.
"Our focus has been on identifying a replacement and that has been the most difficult thing to achieve.
"At the moment, it isn't there or in place, so that's why it would be difficult for us to accept any bid for Roque.
"People we might target say 'what if we get relegated?' so it makes it more difficult from our point of view."