Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce says he can’t afford to sign Lewis Grabban.
The striker, on loan at Sunderland from Bournemouth, has been linked with a January move to Villa.
But ex-Black Cats boss Bruce - while admitting he is looking to strengthen his squad next month - says he wouldn’t be able to sign the player on a permanent deal.
“I have said for three months I am looking at loans,” Bruce said.
“How can I be linked with Lewis Grabban? I haven’t got the money. Put a line through it.”
Grabban has been a revelation at Sunderland, scoring 11 goals in a side struggling at the foot of the Championship.
His form has prompted a number of clubs to be linked with him, including Fulham and Wolves.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has admitted they may take advantage of a recall clause in Grabban’s loan deal with Sunderland and bring him back to the Vitality Stadium next month, before cashing in on him.