Sunderland boss David Moyes has categorically ruled out selling Jermain Defoe following a failed bid from West Ham for the striker.
The 34-year-old former England front man has been in fine form for the Black Cats this season, scoring 11 goals in 21 appearances.
With the club struggling at the wrong end of the table, Defoe represents the club's best chance of survival.
West Ham have had their own troubles this season, and are in desperate need of a proven goalscorer, but saw a £6 million offer rejected by Sunderland.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) January 6, 2017
The veteran striker is a product of the Hammers' famed academy and spent five years in the first team before joining London rivals Tottenham in 2004.
He has now made himself indispensable to David Moyes, who said ahead of his side's FA Cup clash with Burnley on Saturday: "West Ham have made an offer and we rejected it.
"We've said he's not for sale and we won't be selling him. There's a lot of talk – but it's not come from this football club.
"I don't want to fill a lot of time on your programme or fill any more column inches, other people are doing that for me."
Defoe, who has scored 33 goals in 74 games since joining the Black Cats, signed a one-year contract extension in June.