Brighton & Hove Albion insist Chris Birchall will not be joining Los Angeles Galaxy before the end of the season.
Galaxy have offered the midfielder a one-year deal to move to Major League Soccer, but he is under contract at Brighton until the summer.
The Trinidad & Tobago international only joined the League One strugglers from Coventry City in January and is regarded as a key figure in the battle against relegation.
With that in mind, Brighton chairman Dick Knight admits the club cannot afford to let Birchall go, particularly as there has been no official contact from Galaxy.
Knight told the club's official website: "If we were mid-table then we would probably let Chris go. But Galaxy haven't respected our relegation battle and haven't bothered to make direct contact.
"Our transfer window is closed so we have no opportunity to replace Chris and in our current predicament we can't afford to lose him."
Manager Russell Slade added: "Chris' representative has been in touch to tell us he's had a verbal offer of a one-year deal, with a club option of an extension.
"Obviously it's an attractive offer, but first and foremost I need to consider Albion, and we need Chris here in the fight for survival."