Aberdeen supremo Dave Cormack has fired a warning over their pursuit of Derek McInnes, saying: "We don't need your money!"
Aberdeen's new majority shareholder Cormack has said that the Pittodrie outfit will fight to keep McInnes, and told Sunderland they must meet certain conditions before they can speak to the 45-year-old.
McInnes is thought to be interested in the Black Cats job but is awaiting further assurances about the size of the budget he will have available.
Sunderland and Aberdeen are currently locked in negotiations to agree a compensation package for McInnes and his long-term assistant Tony Docherty. The Dons are believed to want £1.2million for the duo, with Martin Bain having offered around £750,000 - and Cormack insists the SPL side won't be held to ransom over the fee.
He told local radio station Original FM: "Derek is 100% focused on the team for next year. He's on vacation just now, but he's not really getting one because he's working with the team on player recruitment.
"Derek is under contract at Aberdeen for two years. He and his family are happy here, no team, including Sunderland, has been given permission to talk to Derek.
"To talk to him there are certain conditions that have to be met, financially or otherwise. Then two, Derek needs to want to talk to them, but that’s the order. We don’t need their money at all. We had a board meeting yesterday and the money is there [to invest in the team].
"I don’t know [if McInnes wants job], I joined the board yesterday and I will leave the Chairman to deal with that."
Cormack has recently become the majority shareholder and said speculation over the manager was inevitable after a League Cup win and three consecutive second placed finishes.