Hearts boss Craig Levein's response when asked about Sunderland interest
Lafferty has again been linked with Sunderland after Chris Coleman pulled out of the chase to sign Derby County's Chris Martin.
Speaking ahead of Hearts' trip to Celtic tonight, Levein reiterated there had been no contact for £500,000 Lafferty, but admitted a serious offer may force Hearts' hand just six months after they signed him for nothing.
The Jambos sold Isma Goncalves for £300,000 and released Cole Stockton to join Carlisle United in the last few days, leaving them short of attacking options, and Levein admitted he would rather bring another striker in than let Lafferty leave.
He said: “I’d heard the rumour, but I haven’t heard a thing from anyone about Sunderland.
“We’ve lost Isma and we released Cole, so we are toiling for strikers, so, no — unless somebody comes in with an offer we can’t refuse, which is the same for every other player on the books.
“I’m trying to get a striker in, so I’m not in a hurry to get one out, but you know how it works."
Lafferty, 30, returns from suspension tonight to face Celtic. He signed a two-year contract in the summer after becoming a free agent.