Bruce stands firm over Upson
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Not even a bid of £10million will convince Steve Bruce to sell Matthew Upson.
Steve Bruce has underlined that Birmingham have no intention of selling Matthew Upson even if West Ham return with a bid of £10million.
The Hammers have already seen two bids for the England international rejected in the January transfer window and could decide to test the Championship side's resolve with another approach as they look to stave off the threat of relegation.
Blues have only lost one of the ten games Upson has played in since his return from injury in November and understandably Bruce is concerned that losing his star defender would have a disastrous effect on his promotion chasing squad.
As such, the Blues boss has told Hammers counterpart Alan Curbishley that there is no chance he will agree to let Upson leave St Andrews - and that his board back him to the hilt.
"I will reiterate to you all that there is no price on Matthew Upson. I have had the complete backing of the board over my stance on things because of the situation we find ourselves in," said Bruce.
"We have had two bids (from West Ham) and they have both been rejected.
"Matty has expressed his desire not to sign a new contract. If I was a player myself I might do the same and keep my options open. But he also signed an agreement when he came here for five-and-a-half years.
"He has got to do the honourable thing and abide by his contract. We are taking a stance.
"My job is to protect this club and I know if we lost him, there would be a few people looking at me and saying 'what the hell are we doing, losing our best player?'.
Bruce is also unconcerned that a refusal to let Upson speak with West Ham could upset the ambitious defender.
"I couldn't give a s*** if he I have got an unhappy player or not," Bruce added. "He is not going, full stop. Whether it is £8million, £9million, £10million, it wouldn't matter.
"Of course, if someone says £20million you can't say no but that is hypothetical and I can't see anyone putting in that sort of bid."