Steve Bruce has denied that defender Matthew Upson is set for a move to either Newcastle or Barcelona.

“We’ve had no approach from Newcastle, Barcelona or whoever – apart from an approach to play in a charity friendly in Barcelona last night,” Bruce said.

“They wanted him and Jesper Gronkjaer to go but I couldn’t let them.

“I didn’t want them to travel when we have an important fixture at Arsenal a few days later. Good players are always linked with other clubs.”

Upson, 25, won his seventh England cap as a substitute in November’s friendly with Spain.

He had a clause inserted in his contract which allows him to renegotiate after his 60th league game for Birmingham, which he reaches this weekend.

“We want to keep all our best players and certainly Matthew Upson is paramount to where we want to be,” said Bruce.

“He’s been excellent for the last 18 months or so.”