Leeds United will do all they can to keep Ross McCormack at the club, with only offers from a 'big team' set to be considered.
Owner Massimo Cellino announced at the unveiling of new head coach David Hockaday on Thursday that star striker McCormack will not be sold to a Sky Bet Championship rival.
That would appear to rule Fulham out of the running for the Scotland international, with one £5million approach from Craven Cottage having already been knocked back.
Cellino is eager to build a team around Leeds’ prized assets, rather than cash in on them, and has warned those considering an approach for McCormack that blocking offers is ‘a matter of principle, not money’.
He said: “If he gets an offer from a big team then we should give him the chance to go. But the teams who’ve asked for McCormack are from the Championship.
“Why should I sell McCormack? We are not desperate to sell him so why should we? If I needed the money, I would tell you frankly – I need the money, I have to sell, I’m not ashamed.
“McCormack is a matter of principle, not money. He’s a beautiful player and he’s staying at Leeds.”
Cellino hopes the fact that McCormack is tied to a contract until 2017 and has expressed no desire to move on will work in Leeds’ favour.
He added: “I’ll make him keep his word with the fans. He’s signed a contract and he wants to stay, he said that publicly. He says he loves Leeds.
“McCormack is a Leo, like my star sign, a leader and a winner who knows the responsibilities. We expect from him the same work next season but not the same manner of goals.
“He played for Leeds with his heart last year, that’s what we want from him. We don’t want him to carry the weight of his team on his shoulders. He played for three players last season.”