Christian Horner says Red Bull would allow a rival team to buy Carlos Sainz out of his current contract if the price is right.
Now in his third year at Toro Rosso, Sainz has made no secret of his desire to move to a bigger team and was in trouble with his employers at the Austrian Grand Prix after claiming he was unlikely to remain at the Red Bull junior team next year.
Horner has ruled out promoting Sainz to Red Bull while Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are still under contract, meaning the Spaniard will spend at least one more year at Toro Rosso as things stand.
However, speaking after the British Grand Prix, Horner said Red Bull would consider a football-style transfer if a rival team was willing to buy Sainz out of his contract at the right price.
"Carlos Sainz has a contract with Red Bull Racing and there are two years left on that contract," he said. "We value him as an asset so an asset has a value, so if there was a desire for another team to have him or for him to go anywhere else, something that has a value has to have a price attached to it."
The comments came after speculation in the German press that Sainz would replace Jolyon Palmer at Renault at the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix. When Horner was asked if there had been any offers to buy Sainz so far, he replied: "No."
The Red Bull team principal added: "If someone is prepared to make an offer of course we'd consider it. But it would have to have a significant value attached to it because we have invested in Carlos significantly. We've taken him from Formula BMW to F1; you are not just going to give an asset away."