Sunderland insist that they will continue to rebuff any interest in Jermain Defoe, despite talk of escalating bids from West Ham.
David Moyes said last week that the 34-year-old is 'priceless' and the Echo understands that the situation remains unchanged.
Defoe underlined his importance to the Black Cats with a brace against Liverpool at the weekend and the Hammers are thought to have firmed up their interest with a bid.
Slaven Bilic's team have struggled this season and summer striker signings Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri are yet to register in the Premier League.
Reports have said West Ham will pay 'what it takes' to sign Defoe, but Sunderland are well aware that losing a player who has scored 11 goals already this season could cost them an astronomical amount if the club were to be relegated.