Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Everton have made contact with Middlesbrough over Yakubu Aiyegbeni.
The Nigerian has emerged as a Toffees target over the last few days and it is understood that David Moyes will slap in a plus £10million bid for the 24-year-old.
Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb has already denied a firm bid, but Southgate has now admitted that there has been contact from the Merseyside club.
"I haven't had any contact from Everton, I know there's been contact at higher levels," he told Sky Sports News.
"I don't know the exact ins and outs of whether there was anything written or anything else but it's irrelevant because he's not for sale. Whatever the form of the contact was, we're trying to build a team and we feel that Yakubu is an important part of our team.
"But as I say he is very happy, I have a good relationship with him, he's focused on what he wants to do and he's looking forward to this weekend.
"He's very happy, he's been excellent especially the last couple of weeks as we get towards the start of the season, he's looking sharper and sharper. We're not welcoming any bids particularly 24 hours before the start of the season to take one of our best players away."