Bruce aims to keep Wigan pair
Steve Bruce has warned suitors of Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios they will cost more than £8m.
Last Updated: 17/04/08 7:50pm
Steve Bruce has warned suitors of Antonio Valencia and Wilson Palacios that the Wigan Athletic duo will cost more than a combined £8million.
Reports on Thursday morning claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to take the midfield pair to Manchester United in the summer.
Sporting Lisbon duo Miguel Veloso and Joao Moutinho are also rumoured to be on Ferguson's shopping list, prompting a light-hearted response from Bruce.
The Wigan boss is aware he would find it difficult to prevent any of his players joining the likes of United, but Bruce insists Palacios and Valencia would cost more than the figures mentioned.
"There were two Benfica (sic) boys mentioned as well and they were rated at £15million, while mine were £5million (Valencia) and £3million (Palacios)," said Bruce.
"I think the prices were the wrong way round though! I don't think the chairman (Dave Whelan) would be interested for that sort of money, that's for sure.
"My chairman is a wealthy man, and anybody wanting to buy from us knows they are going to have to dig deep.
"Looking at the figures mentioned, they would have to be a lot more than that before we even considered it.
"They're obviously two of the last players I would want to sell as well. Ideally, we can't afford to let those kind of players go
"We're looking to try and build around these players because they are only young, and they can only improve.
"But come on, we have to be sensible about this. If Man United come knocking at the door, how the hell can you refuse them?
"I'm aware you can't deny somebody like a Manchester United or a Liverpool or a Tottenham.
"This club never wanted to sell (Pascal) Chimbonda, but players want to go and you can understand that, so we have to be realistic as well.
"The fact they have been linked is great for them. It (the article) is now on the notice board in the canteen, whilst we made sure Palacios and Valencia had red bibs on this morning in training."