Stuart Pearce insists he is still in place to block Sylvain Distin's departure from Manchester City.
Distin has less than a year left on his current contract and City are growing increasingly frustrated.
Middlesbrough lodged a bid last month which was accepted by City, but talks over personal terms have not progressed and he looks set to snub a move to The Riverside.
Portsmouth also maintain an interest, but with the transfer window less than 10 days away Pearce insists he is getting less and less inclined to allow any deal.
"The nearer it gets to the window being shut and the less time I have to find a replacement, the more likely it is that I will turn round and say 'we are not going to do business'," said Pearce.
"Sylvain has never said he is desperate to get away.
"He is a very honest and open-minded lad and probably, if he had not been in the last year of his contract, we would not have given him the opportunity to speak to Middlesbrough.
"If Sylvain decides he wants to stay with us at this moment in time, I would be delighted with that."