Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is hopeful that he can repel any interest in midfielder Cheick Tiote, although he admits that if a bid were to be received his hand may be forced.
Monday's deadline day departure of striker Andy Carroll to Liverpool has deflated the Tyneside club this week, but Pardew has moved to reassure fans he will give his best efforts to keep hold of the Ivory Coast international, who has impressed since his summer move from FC Twente.
Speaking to reporters, Pardew said: “I am hoping there are no bids, otherwise we will have a problem.
"Tiote is a very important player, very talented and someone we want to be a big part of our future."
The former Southampton boss also commented on the financial restraints the club are currently operating under, but once again promised that owner Mike Ashley has plans to build the club once it is on a firmer economic foundation.
He said: “When I became manager, they [Ashley and chairman Derek Llambias] made me aware that they wanted to get the club on a financial footing, which gives them a chance to build it.
"Signing young players and hoping they become successful in the Premier League is part of the policy of growing as a club.
"Now, ideally, you would like to keep someone like Andy Carroll, a young player who is from the area, but financially we could not keep him.
"But we like to think, certainly I have that ambition, that in two or three years' time, if we can sustain our status and keep getting the TV money invested wisely, that we can hold off that next bid which might be for Cheick in 18 months' time or so.
"We have to get ourselves in a position to do that because at the moment we're not and we have to accept that."