Sunderland boss Roy Keane has rejected an approach from Liverpool for striker Kenwyne Jones.

The Journal says Reds boss Rafa Benitez is understood to have offered Peter Crouch to Sunderland in an exchange deal and, although Keane's response was a negative one, the Spaniard's interest in a player who has exceeded expectations remains active.

Keane and his coaching team will do their utmost to protect Jones, but Liverpool's interest and the mounting hype that surrounds the striker will not aid their efforts.