Sunderland chief executive Steve Walton insists the club do not have to sell star players Jordan Henderson and Asamoah Gyan but accepts that big offers will be hard to turn down.
Both players have been subject of attention from Manchester United and Chelsea after impressive seasons for the Black Cats, performances that have propelled Sunderland into the top eight in the Barclays Premier League.
But Walton says the club do not need to sell to balance the books.
"Players will absolutely not have to be sold. Any sales will be dictated by what is right for the manager and balancing the dressing room," he said.
"However, of course we can’t legislate for transfers which come from left-field, such as those involving Darren Bent and Lorik Cana."
Both Bent and Cana left Sunderland for a combined £29 million, meaning Steve Bruce is under no pressure to sell this summer.
Earlier this week, Henderson said his immediate future was at the Stadium of Light.
"I’m enjoying myself at Sunderland, I’m not looking to leave," he said.
"I’m playing every week in the Premier League and that’s all I have ever dreamed of doing.
"I’m young and I’m playing for Sunderland. It’s something I love doing. I just want to keep doing that, keep improving, and keep getting better as a player. I’m a better player than I was 12 months ago."