Bolton boss Owen Coyle insists he never considered selling Kevin Davies when Sunderland came calling in January.
Coyle admits Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill enquired about the 35-year-old's services, but was swiftly knocked back from his advances.
The two sides meet at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, and Coyle suggests Davies remains a big part of his plans at the Reebok Stadium.
"There was an interest but that was in the press before it came to my attention," said the former Burnley manager.
"I told Kevin he was a big part of our plans. He didn't want to leave so for me it was dead in the water. Martin rang in the end.
"I said to Martin the only way Kevin would leave is if he wanted to and that was never the case. That was the finish before it started."
Davies has been with the Trotters since 2003, making over 350 appearances for the club in that time, but is in danger of suffering his first relegation with the club.
Bolton are one point from safety with four Premier League games remaining, but Coyle believes one-time England international Davies is prepared for the fight.
"It was never a big decision for me. I've said consistently it was never up for debate," said Coyle.
"He is, and always will be, a big part of what we do at the club.
"He knows that, as I speak to him on a daily basis. He knows the feeling I have for him and the esteem I hold him in.
"Kevin runs through a brick wall for the club. We've four games left and he'll be champing at the bit to play every one of those."