ALBION boss Gus Poyet has issued a hands-off warning to clubs hoping to lure away some of his key players during the January transfer window.

Poyet insists they are not for sale unless somebody is willing to pay “crazy money”.

Ten-goal top scorer Craig Mackail-Smith has been linked again this week with Norwich, who tried to sign him in August.

The Canaries are also reportedly keen on Liam Bridcutt but Poyet has played down the speculation and does not want to lose the likes of Mackail-Smith, Bridcutt, Will Buckley and Bruno.

He said: “Right now I don’t see it happening. Norwich are doing very well, so why?

“There are players that are not for sale. When people say that and then the players go they think ‘What has changed?’. Normally it’s the price.

“If we want to improve you want to keep your best players, if not you keep starting from zero, so we need to be a bit stronger in those terms.

“Then, like I have said all the time, everybody has a price and people sometimes pay crazy money for players.

“When Ronaldo left Man United I thought it was a terrible decision but the following year they won the league, so it wasn’t that bad.

“It’s a decision that you have to make, the club on the financial side and the manager on the football side.”

Poyet has no immediate plans to correct the current defensive crisis in January. Bruno and Inigo Calderon have been ruled out again for tomorrow’s trip to Blackburn but their injuries are not expected to keep them sidelined into the New Year.

Poyet said: “If people don’t get better then we’ll need to think about it. We are always looking at everything, because we are always ready for some unwelcome news from other teams or unwelcome offers.

“We cannot relax and think about only one position. We’ve got a massive recruitment system now, so we are ready for everything. It is updated weekly, so we are ready for any specific situation.”