Paul Lambert has made it clear to Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool that Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph will not be sold by Aston Villa in January.
The Dutch international and England international have over six months left on their contracts and have not signed an extension. The centre-back has been a target for Arsenal and Manchester United in the mid-season transfer window.
Brendan Rodgers has set his sights on signing Delph as a long-term replacement for the Reds' skipper Steven Gerrard, whose contract will expire next summer. However, Lambert is adamant that the duo will not leave Villa Park next month and claims he has already made his intentions clear to the club owner.
"The way January works, if somebody's worth something you may as well put another 15 zeros on the end of it," Lambert has been quoted as saying by the Mirror.
"The price gets inflated. Even if anybody came in, you would never let them go cheap or anything like that. Would any amount of money tempt me? No. They'll not go anywhere in January. It's my say. Was that my recommendation to the owner Randy Lerner? Absolutely."
The refusal to allow Vlaar and Delph to leave in January is likely to see Villa lose the star duo for free next summer. However, Lambert remains unconcerned over the prospect of losing the two players on a free transfer.
"I'm pretty sure those talks will keep on going. It's not something I'm sitting here thinking about what's going to happen. They're the ones with good dialogue, so I don't have any issues," the Villa manager said.
"Those lads have been brilliant. They enjoy their football here. They have been really professional about it so there have been no issues at all with anything," Lambert concluded.
United and Arsenal have struggled defensively and they are likely to invest in a defender in January. With Lambert's latest comments, both Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger will be forced to look elsewhere in the transfer market to strengthen their squad.