Everton boss Sam Allardyce is worried that midfielder Ross Barkley may have already decided to leave the club.
The 23-year-old reportedly came close to a move to Chelsea in the previous transfer window but decided to stay at Goodison Park to continue his recovery from a hamstring injury, which has kept him sidelined since May.
It was claimed in August that Barkley turned down the chance to join the Premier League champions midway through a medical, although the player himself denied those reports.
However, both Chelsea and Tottenham continue to be linked with the England international ahead of the transfer window reopening in January, and Allardyce admits Barkley's future could be out of his hands.
"I'd like to think we can keep Barkley, unless somebody's already done a deal for him," he told Sky Sports after Everton's 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
"I am not daft enough to know in this game that those words and phone calls might not have already gone on.
"If we could get Ross Barkley to stay then nobody would be more delighted than me. Whether that is a possibility I do not know.
"For me it's about getting him back in the squad first and seeing where we are from there."