Sunderland have rejected a bid from West Ham for Jermain Defoe and the experienced striker is not for sale, Black Cats manager David Moyes has confirmed.
Defoe has been linked with a return to the club where he made his top-flight breakthrough, with West Ham manager Slaven Bilic voicing his admiration for the former England international.
But speaking ahead of Sunderland's FA Cup third-round tie against Burnley, amid reports West Ham had ended their interest, Moyes explained Sunderland will stand firm and retain the 34-year-old who has contributed 11 Premier League goals to their battle against the drop this term.
"West Ham United made a bid and we rejected it. We have said Jermain Defoe is not for sale and he is not for sale," Moyes said.
"This is a great club. We want to do well and we want to look at who we can bring in.
"Jermain Defoe will be involved in some way [against Burnley]."
Sunderland suffered a humbling 4-1 loss at Burnley last weekend but recovered to hold title-chasing Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light.
Moyes' men remain third bottom on 15 points, one from safety, and he hopes that a positive distraction from the norm can have a galvanising effect.
"A cup run can help gather momentum and I couldn't tell you one manager that doesn't want to win the FA Cup," he added.
"We are in good fettle and hopefully we can show that in the game against Burnley."