Brian Horton hopes midfielder Stephen Hunt can inspire Hull City to Premier League safety after the Tigers rejected a deadline-day bid of £5m from relegation rivals Wolves.
Hull's financial concerns meant they had been hoping to trim the size of their first-team squad as well as reducing their wage bill in the January window, but despite the sizeable fee on offer, the Republic of Ireland international was considered too important to sell to their fellow strugglers.
Hunt scored against Wolves in the teams' 2-2 draw at the weekend and assistant manager Horton now hopes he can continue his good form as they look to move out of the bottom three – starting with tonight's visit of league leaders Chelsea. "The club received a verbal offer of £5m for Stephen Hunt. This has been completely rejected and we're not expecting any further bids," he said.
"No manager wants to sell his best players so that is the end of the story with Stephen Hunt.
"You heard the press he got from one of his former team-mates, the [Wolves] goalkeeper [Marcus] Hahnemann at the weekend about what a good player he was and that if they got him they would stay up and if we kept him we would stay up. Let's hope that's the case."
Hungarian midfielder Peter Halmosi has left the KC Stadium, following Nathan Doyle, Bryan Hughes and Tony Warner out of the club, and has rejoined Szombathelyi Haladas on loan until the end of the season.
Gabonese forward Daniel Cousin has also departed, joining Greek side Larissa on loan.
Meanwhile Hunt, who Wolves are understood to have made four separate offers for, is focusing on keeping his present employers in the top flight after shunning all transfer talk.
"I gather the clubs have been talking a bit. In the past I've got involved in transfers and mucked my head up but I've pretty much said nothing this time, got my head down and let my football do the talking.
"I get paid by Hull City so I do my best for Hull City. All I can do is perform Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday and try to get the team going if I can."
He joked: "I've kept my mouth shut publicly for the right reasons because I don't know what I'm going to say sometimes."