Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has shattered Manchester City's hopes of signing striker Roque Santa Cruz by claiming it is ''a certainty'' he will stay at Ewood Park for the rest of the season.
The Rovers boss did, however, admit that his head could be turned if City's Abu Dhabi-based owners were willing to meet the cost of relegation - estimated by Allardyce to be £40million.
Mark Hughes, the former Blackburn manager who is now in charge at Eastlands, is a long-time admirer of the Paraguayan striker having taken him to Ewood Park in 2007.
Since joining City, Hughes has had numerous bids for the former Bayern Munich man turned down, although he was widely expected to reunite with his ex-boss at some point this month.
Allardyce, however, clearly has other ideas. ''The bottom line is, we don't want to sell Roque Santa Cruz,'' Allardyce told talkSPORT.
''For me, we won't be selling Roque Santa Cruz, that's a certainty. The money is no good to me at this stage of the season. Roque Santa Cruz is more valuable to me and more valuable to Blackburn Rovers than the money, whoever might offer.
''There's £40million at stake [to stay] in the Premier League per year and I don't think anyone is going to offer us £40million for Roque Santa Cruz. The value of Roque as a player for us is far greater than what anyone could give us in terms of money.''
When asked if he would be happy to take the £40million, Allardyce added: ''I think I would, yes.
''I think I'd have to. I don't think the board would take too kindly to me saying 'No, I'm still not taking that'.''