Bruce insists Aluko remains a big part of his plans despite dropping down the pecking order behind January signings Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic, and claims the former Birmingham and Rangers man will not be allowed to leave on the cheap if he wants to quit.
"In my eyes, Sone is a £7m player," Bruce said in the Daily Star. "I can understand his frustration because, if you are not playing and you've got something about you, then of course you question it.
"At the end of the day a player only thinks of one thing, and that's himself. I was the same - if you are not playing, you're not happy.
"But, just because we paid £7m each for Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic in January, it doesn't mean Sone is out on his ear.
"I see Sone as a big part of what we are trying to do here, but we need to get him fully fit and back to being the player I know he is."
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