Derby manager Paul Jewell has revealed the club have rejected an offer from Newcastle for Giles Barnes but admits the midfielder could leave for the right price.
The highly-rated 19-year-old missed the early part of the season with a broken foot but has been one of the few plus points in a dismal season for the Barclays Premier League's bottom side, who have won just once in 23 league games.
The Rams youngster has previously been linked with a transfer to Tottenham but Jewell admitted the Magpies are the only side to have made a bid for the midfielder to date, however he has received 'no contact from (United manager) Kevin Keegan'.
He would not reveal the size of the bid, only that it was 'nowhere near' the Rams' asking price.
Jewell said: 'They (Newcastle) did come up with an offer yesterday, a verbal offer, but it was nowhere near our valuation.
'When I see other players leaving for £4million or £5million what we want for Giles Barnes is not unreasonable.'
The Derby boss admitted he would be reluctant to part with one of his prized assets but refused to rule out the possibility of Barnes leaving Pride Park before the transfer window shuts on Thursday night should their valuation be met.
'I am very happy to keep Giles Barnes, he has huge potential so I don't see why we should let him go cheap.
'And if Giles Barnes tells me he doesn't want to go to Newcastle or he doesn't want to go anywhere then I'm very happy to hear that.
'If he tells me he wants to go because it looks like we're going to go down then I have to respect that decision.
'But also, as I have told his agent, he has to respect that just because we might be going down he is not going on the cheap.'
Newcastle appointed Dennis Wise as their new director of football yesterday and the former Leeds boss is expected to play a major role in establishing transfer targets.
They have already lost out on one of them after defender Jonathan Woodgate snubbed a move to St James' Park in favour of joining Spurs.
However, Jewell confirmed no one from the North London side had made an enquiry for Barnes, nor had any other club.
'No not as far as I am aware, I haven't had any other phone calls,' he added.
The loss of Barnes would come as a further blow to a demoralised Derby side whose season sunk to a new low on Saturday after their humiliating FA Cup exit at home to Coca-Cola Championship strugglers Preston.