CARDIFF City have rubbished speculation claiming a deal had been done for a £1.5m transfer of star midfielder Jordon Mutch to Sunderland.
Reports in the Daily Mail claimed the move had been agreed.
But it always looked unlikely that Sunderland would be able to nab the Bluebirds’ leading league scorer last season for such a bargain basement price.
And although the 22-year-old fits the template of the type of player Sunderland are looking to recruit this summer, Cardiff are not keen to allow him to leave.
In response to the story, City issued a statement saying: “We have not received any bids for Jordon and he is in our manager’s plans for next season.
“Jordon is a Cardiff City player and he is staying.”
City manger Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, who has the full backing of the Bluebirds board and chairman Mehmet Dalman, sees Mutch at the heart of the club’s bid to bounce straight back up to the Premier League next season.
And although every player has his price, Cardiff have received no approach from Sunderland and are not looking to offload the player.
Although the story may have been wide of the mark though, it would be no surprise if the Black Cats are monitoring Mutch’s situation.
The former Birmingham trainee stood out for Cardiff in the Premier League last season and was his side’s best player in both the Bluebirds’ encounters with Sunderland.
With the player approaching the last year of his contract and reportedly not keen to drop down to the Championship, Cardiff might reluctantly accept that it is better to cash in on him now rather than lose him for nothing next summer.
If that happens though, they will want considerably more than the £2m former manager Malky Mackay paid to sign the player in the summer of 2012.
H Sunderland will play Hartlepool United in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday, July 23, (7.30pm kick-off).
The game will be held at Victoria Park, with Colin Cooper’s men looking to fine tune preparations for their League Two campaign ahead.
It is the second of Sunderland’s pre-season fixtures to be announced.
It was confirmed last week that the Black Cats will take on Graham Kavanagh’s Carlisle United at Brunton Park on Tuesday, July 22 (7.30pm kick-off)
With the two games just 24 hours apart, Sunderland head coach is expected to take the opportunity to experiment and field very different sides across the two fixtures.
H Sunderland Under 21s will take on Gateshead in a pre-season friendly at the Conference Premier side’s Gateshead Stadium on Saturday, August 2, (3pm kick-off).