Blackburn boss Steve Kean has poured cold water on reports that have suggested Chris Samba refused to play in Saturday's defeat of Fulham.
The giant centre-half was a noticeable absentee from the 3-1 victory at Ewood Park, with no injury having been cited in the build-up to the game.
Samba has made no secret of his desire to quit the Lancashire outfit in the January transfer window but Kean insists there was nothing underhand about his non-appearance on Saturday.
The beleaguered Rovers chief says stomach cramps laid the sought-after stopper low, with the club having been informed he was feeling unwell on Friday.
"That's not true," said Kean when asked if Samba had refused to play.
"He texted the doctor on Friday complaining of stomach cramps. We'll make sure the virus he has is not too serious, that it clears up and he can be available for Everton.
"But I would rather talk about the lads who were out there. Anybody who is not here I would rather not talk about."
Samba has been strongly linked with long-term admirers Tottenham but QPR, whose new manager Mark Hughes knows all about his talents from his own time at Blackburn, are also monitoring his situation.
A number of Sunday's papers have also credited Manchester City as holding an interest.