Steve Bruce has admitted Sunderland will find it very difficult to resist a big-money bid for midfielder Jordan Henderson.
Henderson, 20, has caught the eye of the Premier League's biggest clubs with a string of quality and consistent displays this term.
Both Manchester teams and Arsenal are reported to be showing an interest and Bruce fears they could soon pounce for his Academy graduate.
"I sincerely hope we can keep Jordan," he told the Daily Mail.
"However, I am a realist: if one of the giants comes along then we're up against it. If ridiculous money is offered, it will be difficult.
"I have just been speaking to (Blackburn boss) Big Sam (Allardyce) who has Phil Jones - another huge talent who has done well.
"It is part and parcel of it all that other clubs will have a look. Ultimately we will have to face it and cope with that when it comes."
The form of the Sunderland man has also caught the eye of Fabio Capello who is still keen to revitalise his squad after England's World Cup debacle.
England meet France on Wednesday evening at Wembley and should the midfielder earn a call up from Capello, it would complete a remarkable rise for a player that was on loan at Coventry last year.
"To get into the England squad would be great for this club and the people who have helped bring him on," Bruce added.
"He is level-headed enough, a compliment to his parents. He just wants to play football and get better. Too many kids are not like that and want the other side."
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