Sunderland will not sign Robbie Keane as replacement for Darren Bent, chairman Niall Quinn has insisted.
The Black Cats sold leading goalscorer Bent to Aston Villa this week, for a reported £18m, after the seven-time England cap handed in a transfer request at the weekend.
There has since been speculation that the North East club could turn their attention to Republic of Ireland international Keane, who has been told he can leave Tottenham during the January transfer window.
But Quinn told Kildare TV: “What we are looking for to help (Asamoah) Gyan and Danny Welbeck along is probably a physical presence.
“Robbie works well off a big physical player, but we don't have that now so Robbie doesn't quite suit us now.”
Bent’s decision to hand in a transfer request following the draw with Newcastle United had stunned many in football, but Quinn went on to reveal he thought something was wrong as long as a month ago.
He continued: “Darren is bubbly. He's always in great form. About three or four weeks ago, I came in one day and I felt something was up with him.
“Having been in the game, you kind of know when somebody has something going on in their heads, and it transpired that's what happened.
“When the transfer request, came in, that was the final nail. The only job then was to get as good a fee as possible for the club.
“I would never knock him for what has happened. It happens with footballers.
“In some ways, there'll be people saying you can't blame him, he'll have gotten a very big pay rise.
“I'd have personally been motivated to try and get the club into Europe first.”