Blackpool boss Ian Holloway is determined not to sell Charlie Adam during the transfer window.
Adam, instrumental in the Seasiders’ promotion to the Barclays Premier League last season and hugely impressive again this term, has been linked with a host of clubs in recent weeks, with Villa making bids of £2.5million and £3.5million for him.
Both were rejected by Blackpool, a decision Holloway believes was further justified this week when the midlands outfit forked out a record £18million - rising to £24million - for Sunderland striker Darren Bent.
Holloway has indicated he would only consider letting Adam leave if a substantial offer came in from one of the top flight’s biggest sides - and he does not want to have to think about it until the summer at the earliest.
Right now, the manager would like his captain to be mindful of the fact that he still has 18 months left to run on his contract.
Asked if he definitely would not be selling Adam in January, Holloway said: “No - why should I?
“The thing is, if someone offered the ‘right’ amount of money, which would be fair in terms of the market value of Charlie, how do I work out what that market value is when clubs are paying absolutely ludicrous amounts of money for people I don’t see as being as good as Charlie?
“I had a contract (as manager) at Plymouth, I left it and I won’t do that again - I learned from making that mistake.
“Charlie has signed a contract and someone can come in all they like, but it’s not his choice and it’s not their choice. He belongs to us and he is contracted for 18 months.
“You have to behave with respect and not all players do that sometimes, but that is the way the game is.
“I think he is still improving, I think he belongs to us and if someone wants to offer money, I think they are wasting their time because we don’t need to sell him at the moment.”
Holloway suggested Adam could be worth “£46million” due to what Blackpool would earn should they avoid relegation and the Bristolian described Villa’s recent offers as “absolutely disgraceful”.
“Obviously Aston Villa are a massive club, but how can they rate Darren Bent at that sort of figure and offer me that for Charlie?” Holloway said.
“I think it is quite derisory.”
Asked what his reaction had been to the news of Bent’s move to Villa, Holloway said: “I thought my decision not to sell him [Adam] - or dream about selling him - was correct.”
Adam has spoken of his ambition to play at the highest level, but for the time being at least Holloway is prepared to play hardball with the Scotland international.
“In our contracts you can terminate them and walk out on them, like I did, and I don’t agree with that,” Holloway said.
“In the player’s contract you can’t, and he can sulk and whinge and do what he likes, but if you’re in a situation where that is going to happen, there is only one loser - and that is the player.
“You have to weigh up things. Obviously any footballer will have his head turned by a club the size of Aston Villa. But for me, it’s more than that - it’s about respect.”
Holloway is certainly not looking for confrontation with Adam, but warned: “Hopefully he’ll keep his cool, because if he doesn’t, we won’t be messed with, and he doesn’t need to do that.
“Why would he need to lose his dignity?”