With less than a day left for clubs to operate in the summer transfer window, Everton mainstay Leon Osman, 32, is not confident that two of the club's greatest assets — Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini — will remain at Goodison Park.
Already the subject of a brace of bids, top brass at the Blues have rejected £28m and £35m attempts to lure the pair to former manager David Moyes' new territory eastbound on the M62, to Old Trafford and Manchester United.
Should a third offer in excess of £40m be launched, then the hand of Roberto Martinez may be forced. Osman, though, will not be one of those watching the feeds that break the news.
'I’m going to turn the telly off and hope they’re still here come Monday night,' he said, as reported by the Daily Mirror. 'Nobody wants to lose their best players. Every Evertonian is hoping that won’t be the case, but we live in the real world and things happen differently than you want them to.
'It’s always difficult when you’re talking about the money which is being bandied about by the clubs that are interested.'
The impact of losing both players would be devasting for Everton. Fellaini, despite his midfield role, was the club's top scorer in all competitions last term, returning 12 goals from 53 shots in 36 appearances. Baines, meanwhile, was a steady performer, making 44 starts; the most out of any Evertonian.
'As with any club, no player is bigger than the club,' Osman said. 'If someone goes, you move on, you adapt, you find new ways of playing without those players.
'You will end up getting new players in who will make you stronger in different areas. Whatever happens come Monday night or Tuesday morning, we will move on and make ourselves strong.'
If a double deal for Fellaini and Baines is ratified, then Everton could move for Manchester City duo Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott.
image: © wonker