Everton manager David Moyes has warned any potential suitors that Marouane Fellaini will command a "big price" if he is to leave Goodison Park.
The 24-year-old Belgium international has been the catalyst in an uncharacteristically strong start to the season for the Toffees, from his strike in the opening day 1-0 win over Manchester United to his goal and assist against Sunderland.
The 2-1 win on Saturday saw Everton climb into fourth place and, following Fellaini's admission at he could leave Everton in the near future, Moyes is confident that the club will continue to progress in the midfielder's absence.
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"I think we’ve got to the stage at Everton where I say, 'Look, we’ve lost some really good players but I don't think it’s stopped us from progressing the team'." Moyes told the Daily Mirror.
"I’m not in the mood to keep the fight going all the time, because I’ve lost a few players now, but the ones we’ve lost – they’ve paid for.
"They know where [Fellaini] is, they know where to come and watch him... they know as well that it will be a big price if they are interested."
The Scot is well known for commanding huge transfer fees from clubs after his top players, most notably Joleon Lescott and Mikel Arteta, who joined Manchester City and Arsenal respectively for hefty fees.
And with reported interest in Fellaini from Chelsea, Moyes is ready to stand firm.
"We sold Lescott, we sold Arteta and we’ve all felt really down when we’ve lost those players but we’ve had to pick ourselves up and go and find other ones." Moyes continued.
"The club will always be bigger than any player, any manager, and the players we’ve brought in are showing that.
"It’s taken me a while to realise it," he added. "I was dead against losing any player, and still am. Don’t think I’m saying people can come and just take my players.
"But I’ve a bit more experience, and a bit more perspective, and I realise that if I have top players and can’t give them trophies, cup finals, European football, I might have to accept that’s what they’re thinking."