Crystal Palace have rejected an approach from Bolton Wanderers to talk to their manager Dougie Freedman as they continue their search for a successor to replace the sacked Owen Coyle.
Freedman has done an impressive job at Palace guiding them to fourth place in the Championship and leading them to the semi-final of last season's Carling Cup, defeating Manchester United in the quarter-final, despite operating on a limited budget.
But his contract at Selhurst Park expires in the summer and Bolton were reportedly willing to take advantage of this by offering him a lucrative three-year deal at the Reebok Stadium.
However, Palace are determined to keep hold of their manager and have quashed rumours that Freedman was set for an exit to the Reebok by rejecting the approach.
Since Coyle's departure, Bolton have been led by caretaker-manager Jimmy Phillips - a former Wanderers player and the club's academy director - who has emerged as a candidate to get the job on a permanent basis.
Phillips said on Monday: "We had the players in training on Sunday and Phil (Gartside), the chairman, came in to say he's had contact with Crystal Palace to speak to Dougie Freedman.
"Whether that goes ahead we don't know."
Phillips, who has been assisted by former Bolton boss Sammy Lee and Julian Darby, was in charge for Saturday's 3-2 win over Bristol City.
"I don't think myself, Sammy and Julian have any doubts we could do the job," Phillips said after the game. "Whether we continue to work at first-team level won't be our decision."
Mick McCarthy has been heavily linked and is also understood to be interested in taking over from Coyle.