Steve Bruce admits he will be 'devastated' when the time comes to part with Antonio Valencia.
The Ecuador international is destined to leave Wigan this summer, with a host of big clubs leading the race for his signature.
Manchester United and Real Madrid are believed to be keen on the 23-year-old ace, with multi-million pound offers said to be in the pipeline.
Bruce accepts that he will be unable to fend off the advances of such footballing giants but hopes the sale of Valencia will allow him to delve into the transfer market for a suitable replacement.
"I'll be devastated to lose him because how the hell do we replace him?" said the Latics boss. "But he deserves it.
"He is a great kid to work with; he's humble, a great athlete and he deserves to play at the highest level - which he will do.
"The size of clubs who want to try to take him is growing by the day and, unfortunately for him, he will go.
"It is out of my hands now. It is up to the powers that be to get the best deal."