Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has defended his pursuit of Wigan Athletic midfielder Lee Cattermole, insisting that he did not try to unsettle his former player.
Bruce eventually landed the 21-year-old in a £6million deal, having been given hope by Latics boss Roberto Martinez that a transfer could be agreed.
He said: "It was no secret that we'd put in a bid three or four weeks ago and, contrary to reports that we'd unsettled Lee, I was encouraged after speaking to Roberto.
"He didn't dismiss it totally if we could get to the right sort of figure. There was always an element that gave me food for thought that it could be done.
"Roberto wants to add a few players of his own and he obviously used the situation to get some money in for players, which is fair enough and something all managers do.
"I have huge respect for the chairman, Dave Whelan, and everybody at Wigan and the last thing I wanted to do was go back there and disrupt anything.
"Once I got encouragement, I pursued it and didn't let it go. A couple of weeks ago I think Roberto had changed his mind and wanted to keep Lee.
"But then it was ongoing and, in the end, we got to the finish. We're just delighted that we've been able to bring the boy here."