Wigan have stressed no clubs have been granted permission to speak to former Pompey boss Paul Cook amid reported interest from Sunderland.
Cook was one of the early front-runners with the bookmakers for the vacant Black Cats job after they sacked Jack Ross earlier this month.
The Liverpudlian, who led the Blues to League Two title glory in 2017 but departed for the Latics just 25 days later, was as short as 3/1 at one stage.
An online report claimed the ex-Fratton Park manager was interested in the Stadium of Light role.
Yet his odds have drifted drastically and Wigan chief executive Jonathan Jackson has stressed no other sides can discuss terms with Cook.
Speaking at a fans’ forum, he said: ‘No club have been given permission to speak to our manager.
‘If any club had approached us, we would have to respect their privacy.’
Phil Parkinson is currently the long odds-on favourite to take charge at Sunderland, while Wycombe supremo Gareth Ainsworth is also said to be in the running.