Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert insists Scott Sinclair can still cut it at the top despite his Manchester City career stalling.
But the manager remained tight-lipped over a bid for the former Swansea star.
Sinclair has been linked to Villa Park with his Etihad stay seemingly over after only four appearances this season.
He has started just three times since a £6.2million move from Swansea in 2012 and had an unsuccessful loan spell at West Brom last term.
Lambert believes, though, the ex-Chelsea trainee has got the quality to revive his career in the Barclays Premier League.
"I know the lad from his Swansea days. I know exactly what he can do, he was top, top class in that side." he said.
"It's been a hard move for him going to Man City, but the year he had at Swansea in the Premier League he was outstanding.
"So he has got it in him, he can be a real good player.
"The Man City move has probably been a bit different to what he imagined.
"He got his move to City and things have happened there but in his time at Swansea he was in excellent form."
But Lambert would not be drawn on whether Villa, who go to Leicester on Saturday, had made an offer for the 25-year-old.
"It is what it is at the minute. It is unfair of me to comment on someone that is not here," he said.
Lambert does not have a set transfer budget at Villa, instead working on a case-by-case basis with chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Tom Fox.
He is hunting creative players to give Villa a cutting edge and score more goals after just 11 in 20 league games but insisted they will not spend big.
"Everyone knows the situation and where the club is, it's not changed from last year," said Lambert, who confirmed skipper Ron Vlaar is out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.
"If something can be done which isn't going to put the club in a position of madness and not going to financially hurt the place then the chairman will be good on that front."