Sunderland boss Ricky Sbragia has revealed Newcastle United made a 'cheeky enquiry' for Kieran Richardson.
Sbragia's Newcastle counterpart Joe Kinnear endured a mixed transfer window as, despite bringing in Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor, he missed out on several targets.
Richardson was one of the players Kinnear tried to sign, but Sbragia admits the approach from Sunderland's North East rivals was given short shrift.
"There was a cheeky enquiry, but it was never any more than that," Sbragia told the Sunderland Echo.
"To be honest, we've had quite a few cheeky enquiries over the months that never got anywhere near getting off the ground and that was one of them.
"Clubs are entitled to try it on if they want to, but I've made it clear that I want to keep my very best players at the club."
England cap Richardson joined Sunderland from Manchester United in 2007 and is a key part of the Black Cats' midfield.
He also etched his name into Sunderland folklore by firing home a stunning free-kick to secure a 2-1 win over Newcastle at the Stadium of Light in November to clinch the club's first home victory over their local foes in almost 30 years.