Coventry City manager Andy Thorn insists that he is desperate to hold on to star striker Lukas Jutkiewicz but admits that the decision may be taken out of his hands.
Reports on Tuesday morning suggested that Southampton are readying a January bid in the region of £3million for City's prized asset and could even take him on loan prior to Thursday's deadline with a view to a permanent move in the new year.
Jutkiewicz, born in Southampton and on the club's books as a youngster, took his tally for the season to seven goals with a well-taken header to cancel out Peter Whittingham's strike in a 1-1 Championship draw with Cardiff City on Tuesday.
The struggling Sky Blues cannot afford to lose their top scorer as they attempt to stave off relegation and Thorn, who has coped admirably having been unable to replace a host of star names who departed over the summer, would love to keep him at the Ricoh Arena.
But he knows the cash-strapped club's delicate ongoing financial situation means owners SISU may finally be forced to cash in on his services having rejected a summer bid from Middlesbrough, who also continue to track the 22-year-old.
"I don't know what's going to happen, whatever happens I'll have to deal with," Thorn said.
"Managers now, I think across the game, don't dictate who goes in and out of clubs. They can have their opinion but it doesn't matter.
"We've had a lot of hurdles and obstacles put in front of us this year and we've blooded a lot of young boys into the team, they're a credit to the football club.
"I would love to keep Jutkiewicz, absolutely. But, as I said, I think the game is decided elsewhere when it comes to who stays and who doesn't.
"I've got to get on with whatever happens, that's not me bleating, that's how it is unfortunately."
Cardiff boss Malky Mackay, who saw his side move up to third in the Championship table following the draw, himself revealed he is looking to add to his ranks before the loan window closes.
"At the moment there's one deal in particular we've been working hard on but whether it comes off or not we'll have to see tomorrow," he said.
"I thought we got much stronger as the game went on and on another day Kenny Miller has three great chances and gets a hat-trick in the second half.
"Craig Conway had a good chance and Peter Whittingham had a strike that their goalkeeper has done magnificently to keep out. On another day we win.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game, we come away with a point and we keep our unbeaten run going."