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Bruce spoke out to make it clear that the Trinidad & Tobago striker was part of his long-terms plans as he hit out at reports linking Jones with an £11 million move to Birmingham.

Bruce said: “We haven’t received any bids for Kenwyne. He’s an important part of our team and he isn’t going anywhere.

“I’m trying to build a squad that can compete here at Sunderland and I want quality players like Kenwyne Jones at the club.”

“I’ve already expressed my dislike of the January window and my opinion on that certainly hasn’t changed. It’s an unsettling time for players, for clubs and it certainly makes a manager’s job all the more difficult.”

The former Manchester United captain described the transfer speculation as “unsettling and not helpful” while a club official added: “The opening of the January transfer window has seen Sunderland linked with over a dozen players, as well as stories suggesting bids for striker Kenwyne Jones.”

Meanwhile, Bruce back the decision to postpone Saturday’s game against Bolton due to the Arctic weather conditions gripping Wearside.

“Obviously we’re disappointed that the game has been called off,” Bruce added.

“We’ve prepared the team as normal and tried to stick to a schedule all week despite the ice and snow, so it’s a frustration for everyone, that’s for sure.

“Fans work hard all week too and the match is something they look forward to at the end of the week so I’m sure they’ll be disappointed.

“But when it comes to a question of safety then football certainly has to come second, there’s no doubt about that. The sensible decision has been taken, with the welfare of everyone in mind.

“A lot of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to get the game on but I don’t think many of us have seen weather quite like this for a long time and common sense has prevailed.”