Micky Mellon insists Lawrence Shankland won’t leave Tannadice unless shipping him out makes Dundee United better.
However, the Tangerines boss admits the benefits of a substantial transfer fee could outweigh those of keeping his star striker beyond the January transfer window.
But he also revealed the questions he, sporting director Tony Asghar and owner Mark Ogren will ask themselves should bids for any of their players start to fly in.
“Nothing will move out of Dundee United unless it’s going to make Dundee United better,” he said.
“The question will always be, of anything that happens at the football club: ‘Does it help to make Dundee United better if we do this?’
“I’m not just talking about Lawrence. I’m talking about anything.
“If the answer is yes to that then we would probably do it.
“But if the answer is no to that then, quite simply, we wouldn’t do it, and there’s no real need to do it because it is a really well-run football club with an owner and a sporting director that love the football club – and a fanbase that demands it wins games and is operating at the right end of the league.
“So it would always have to end with: ‘Does it make Dundee United better?’ and I think it would be quite easy for us to come to the answer of any of those kind of questions.”
That, however, is no guarantee Shankland will still be a United player come February.
Mellon explained: “(A player leaving) can make the club better if you get rewarded financially for that player’s services because then you’d be able to go out and strengthen and make the club better if that money was enough.
“So, on and off the pitch, you could comfortably improve many areas of it.
“If something happened with any of my players, because I’ve got a lot of talented players, if we sat down and said: ‘So and so has made an offer for this player and it’s this amount.’
“Can we improve Dundee United with that? Yes. And can we get a necessary replacement in, or have we already got one in the building? Yes. Let’s do the deal.”
Mellon also revealed his satisfaction with young United attacker Logan Chalmers, who has turned in a number of eye-catching displays since breaking into the first team.
“We’ve got the boy Logan Chalmers – he’s a wee bit of a throwback, the old skilful, dribbling, one v one (winger) that we all remember every great team had,” said Mellon.
“The team used to get the ball to them, then it used to be that duel between them and the full-back.
“He’s an exciting talent and one that we’re really enjoying nurturing.
“Unfortunately he picked up an injury against Aberdeen that’s going to keep him out for a few weeks, but it won’t hold him back. He’ll get on with it again.
“I’ve loved having an (old-fashioned) winger back in my team again.”