WIGAN boss Roberto Martinez has quashed hopes of Charles N’Zogbia leaving the Latics in the current transfer window.
Sunderland planned to make an inquiry about the availability of their long-time target this month - hoping a slightly improved offer from previous ones might give the North West club pause for thought.
But the Black Cats’ board always felt the relegation-threatened club would want to hang on to their prize asset until the end of the season at least.
And Martinez made it abundantly clear that that was his position after Liverpool became the latest club N’Zogbia was linked to.
“It’s a compliment when you’ve a team chasing you that would love to have you in their squad,” Martinez said of the effect such speculation might have on his players.
“It’s speculation, but it’s positive.
“When you go into a game on the back of a defeat and you read someone wants you, it’s a great lift.
“To get such a compliment - it can only help you as a player and the football club as a whole.
“But we’re not here to try to find business, we don’t need to sell players to balance our books, and that’s always our position.”
Owner Dave Whelan is sitting on a vast personal fortune which ensures he does not have to worry about making ends meet and selling players to pay bills.
And Martinez says he is relaxed about the transfer talk.
“For me, it’s not an issue,” he said.
“We’re not talking to any clubs, so it’s not as if there are negotiations that you hope break down.
“All our concentration is on the games ahead.
“The players mentioned have been performing really well for the last season and a half, but they’ve still a long way to go.
“When they do they will get their rewards, both individually and us as a football club.”
That means that the 26-year-old French winger will have to wait until the summer for his move. Sunderland will be first in the queue when N’Zogbia comes to consider his options.
But with the Wigan player then entering the last year of his contract, the advantage will finally be moving away from the selling club and towards the buying club as the player’s potential transfer value drops.
Meanwhile Cardiff City boss Dave Jones has signalled that he will not sell 16-goal striker Jay Bothroyd cheaply after Sunderland made an inquiry about the player without making a bid.
City rate the striker in the £4m bracket but people in football are aware that the 28-year-old can leave for nothing in the summer when his contract expires.
Jones said of Sunderland’s interest: “If they want to take him now, pay the rate that we think he is worth as that is what he is worth to us,
“Where I get a little confused is people think that if his contract is up in six months, then his value is worth less.
“If you need the player now, the value is still the same.
“If you don’t want to pay the asking price, just wait six months and you could get him for nothing. Simple.
“If any club wants him or any player here then they will have to pay what the club feel is the right price as I’ve got to then go out and replace him.
“It’s no good me telling another manager ‘I’ve just lost my player because he is out of contract in six months so give me your player.’ It doesn’t work that way.”
Another potential Sunderland signing, Ricardo Fuller, has been urged to stay at the Britannia Stadium by ex-Black Cat and current team-mate Rory Delap.
He said: “Everyone knows what Ric has done for the club, he’s a great player.
“I don’t know what will happen - it’s down to him and the club.
“But if it were up to me, he would be staying.”