Alan Pardew has ruled out the possibility of Salomon Rondon leaving West Bromwich Albion this month as the Venezuelan prepares to face one of his rumoured suitors in Liverpool on Saturday (27 January).
It was reported earlier this week that Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton were both considering a surprise move for Rondon before next week's transfer deadline. Sky Italia meanwhile have suggested that Chelsea could soon look towards both the 28-year-old and Paris Saint-Germain full-back Layvin Kurzawa as they grow frustrated in their protracted pursuit of AS Roma duo Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri.
Rondon, who was also subject to a lucrative offer from Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin Quanjian last year, has only 18 months left to run on a four-year contract signed upon his arrival from Zenit Saint Petersburg for a then club-record fee of £12m ($17m) in the summer of 2015 and The Sun claim that West Brom could sell if they receive a bid in excess of £15m.
However, Pardew has moved quickly to quash that speculation, praising the former Las Palmas, Malaga and Rubin Kazan forward's impact since his appointment in November and pledging an improvement with regards to his meagre goal tally (five in 25 appearances so far this term).
He also pointed to Rondon's response to his role in a freak accidental collision that saw Everton midfielder James McCarthy suffer a horrific double leg break in the 1-1 Premier League draw at Goodison Park last weekend as a sign of his "leadership quality".
"Salomon is not part of any deal," Pardew said in his pre-Liverpool press conference, per the Birmingham Mail. "Salomon has been absolutely brilliant since I've been here.
"He has been playing terrific football without getting reward in terms of goals. That's the next part of the ingredient for him, in my tenure here."
Pardew also dismissed talk of a possible Championship loan exit for young midfielder Sam Field in addition to providing a latest update on the situation regarding captain Jonny Evans, but would not be drawn on West Brom's supposed interest in the likes of Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney and Borussia Dortmund forward Andre Schurrle.
The Baggies head to Liverpool tomorrow four days before a trip to Manchester City potentially missing six players -James McClean, Jay Rodriguez, Ben Foster, Ahmed Hegazi, Gareth McAuley and Field - as the result of a flu bug that has swept through camp this week. Nacer Chadli (thigh) and James Morrison (achilles) also remain sidelined through injury.
"We have got a little bit of the flu bug at the moment and some of the players couldn't train today including McClean, Rodriguez, Foster, Field, Hegazi and McAuley," Pardew said. "We will have to see how they are overnight before assessing the team. Certainly there are enough players available to not have to make too many changes."