Manchester United and Arsenal have been told that transfer target Lars Bender will not be sold.
Michael Reschke, Bayer Leverkusen's general manager, told German newspaper Kicker: "We have no intention to sell Lars".
The energetic Leverkusen midfielder, who has been capped 15 times by Germany, has been strongly linked with the two Premier League clubs.
Indeed, the Daily Star report that Arsenal have previously had an £18.5m bid for the Bundesliga star rejected, but that is unlikely to put the Gunners off from making an improved offer.
Manchester United are also monitoring the situation, and may regard Bender as a cheaper alternative to Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera, who almost completed a £30m switch to Old Trafford in the summer and remains high on David Moyes' wish-list.
The ball, however, remains firmly in Bayer Leverkusen's court. Bender's current contract does not expire until 2017, meaning United, Arsenal or another club will have to pay top price to land the box-to-box midfielder.