Glenn Roeder has dismissed reports that he is plotting a part exchange deal to land Darren Bent, but the Newcastle boss has revealed he made enquiries about the Charlton striker over the summer.
The Addicks star has been linked with a possible exit from The Valley in January following a disastrous start to the season for the London side.
Table-toppers Manchester United were rumoured to be interested before their surprise capture of Henrik Larsson, and The Magpies are now the latest club to be linked with the prolific striker.
Reports had indicated that Roeder was ready to use James Milner and Stephen Carr as makeweights in any potential deal, but both players look to be part of the future at St James' Park with the Newcastle boss dismissing such speculation.
However Roeder stopped short of ruling out an alternative move for Bent and also conceded he made discreet enquiries about the Charlton star over the summer.
"I have been a fan of Darren Bent from the time I first saw him play for Ipswich. In the summer, we asked Charlton about him and were quoted £15million," said Roeder.
"We have not been back to The Valley for several reasons, one of them being that Charlton would not sell Bent to us because it would send a terrible message out to their supporters.
"Certainly reports saying that we are offering James Milner and Stephen Carr in part-exchange for Bent are not correct, because both players are very much in my plans.
"As far as our supporters are concerned, it is important that while they must know we are busy and still monitoring several situations, no decision has been made on any player we will be trying to bring to St James' Park."
Roeder has also been forced to bat away fanciful suggestions that the North East side may try to sign out-of-sorts Chelsea striker Andrei Shevchenko on loan during the January transfer window.
"Shevchenko is a wonderful player and a player any club would love to have. But I have not contacted Chelsea about him and I will not be contacting them," Roeder added.
"I am afraid some of the transfer talk over the weekend is pure fantasy."