Birmingham boss Steve Bruce has vowed to fight to keep Matt Upson at the club.
Upson is looking to leave St Andrews after turning down a new deal at the Championship leaders.
A number of Premiership clubs are thought to be watching Upson's situation closely and West Ham had a bid rejected for the defender earlier this week.
Upson's is in the last 18 months of his current contract and even though Upson is keen to leave Bruce does not want to sell him in this month's transfer window.
"I would love to offer Matt a new contract, but there comes a time when you have to respect a player," Bruce told Sky Sports News.
"He has done four or four-and-a-half years here and he is keeping options open.
"If I was a player now maybe I would be on a year's contract and see what develops.
"I think Matt turned down a contract some 18 months ago and he made his feelings known then that he would like to keep his options and see what's available.
"He has every right to do that and it is up to him.
"I don't think there is a contract offer for him, but if we got into the Premier League we might have another go and say 'go on then' and test his resolve.
"I don't think it is a case of just a contract or financial offers I just think it is a footballing decision."
Bruce is loath to lose the England international as he believes it would send out the wrong signals to the rest of the squad.
"If I sold Matthew Upson now it would send out the same negative vibes to our dressing room and fans.
"Matthew does understand the situation. How would my players and staff feel if I let arguably our best player go now?
"Matthew is priceless. I'll do everything I can to keep him. Where can I get an England player aged 27, who is naturally left sided?"
Meanwhile, Bruce is hoping to tie up a deal for Sebastian Larsson in the next few days.
Larsson is currently on loan at St Andrews from Arsenal and Bruce is keen to make the move permanent after being impressed by the player during his time at the club.
"We hope we can get the Larsson deal done in the next day or so, because he has done very well for us," concluded Bruce.