Carlisle United have warned it would take an “almighty” bid for them to part with star man Jamie Devitt this month.

The managerless Blues say they do not want their promotion push sabotaged by the loss of top players.

While the Cumbrians have made some out-of-favour members of their squad available to leave, they are taking a different stance on Devitt, who like many at United is in the final months of his deal.

Director of football David Holdsworth hinted the club would seek to open contract talks with the midfielder once the January window has closed and United’s transfer business has been completed.

In the meantime, he said any rumoured interest in the Irishman that developed would be very unlikely to be welcomed.

“Jamie’s going nowhere,” Holdsworth said. “I don’t care how many agents want to ring me. As far as I’m concerned it would take an almighty bid to let Jamie go.

“Jamie is certainly someone we’ve identified as someone we’d like to keep at the club.

“But we won’t be doing that [discussing terms] whilst the window is open.

“We like Jamie and want him to stay here. We’ll do everything we can to keep the squad as happy and with as much continuity as we can.”

Holdsworth, meanwhile, said United are “very hopeful” of bringing Jerry Yates back on a fresh loan deal from Rotherham.

He added that, while the club are weighing up potential signings, the Blues did not want to fill their other loan slots too quickly whilst that was a possibility.

The director of football also said he was in touch with “three or four players” with “pace and quality” who may become available as free agents this month if their contracts with current clubs are cancelled or paid up.

Nor have United given up on Ashley Nadesan, who is understood to be interesting various other League Two clubs, Crawley and Northampton among them.

The striker this week returned to parent club Fleetwood.

Holdsworth said: “It will come down to Fleetwood but if we’re in a position, and I can get us in that position, if it’s possible, we will bring him back.

“It will be down to what other clubs do and what Ashley wants. There might be one or two clubs who think they can throw a few pounds at that deal, but he might not want to go.”

Asked whether John Sheridan’s departure, plus the prospect of compensation from Chesterfield, could be channelled towards a bid for Nadesan, Holdsworth said: "We’ve managed the books extremely well. There is a legacy, and we will always continue talking about it until it’s gone.

“While we are working within the constraints of what we have, with certain things happening, like players leaving, who were costing us, we use that ability to channel that into opportunities that come about.

“If Ashley is in a position where he hasn’t gone to a certain club who are going to spend a hell of a lot of money on him, and he doesn’t want to go there, because it’s a new beginning, and his career might suffer, he might be better off coming to his virtual home [here] that he enjoys.

“We will try to exploit that situation. I know where we are down to a pound. We’ll use every opportunity and spend that pound wisely.”