Blackburn Rovers defender Stephen Warnock admits the club will find it very hard to replace Roque Santa Cruz.
The Paraguay international is set to leave Ewood Park this summer, with the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham reported to be vying for his signature.
And Warnock, who can also operate in midfield, admits losing Santa Cruz will be a big blow to the Lancashire outfit.
"It is going to be difficult to keep Roque," he told Sky Sports News.
"He has stated he wants a new challenge where he could possibly play Champions League football and he has more than proved himself in the Premier League.
"He is a player I admire tremendously and I think he is a fantastic player.
"Mark Hughes did a great job of finding bargain players but it is very hard to keep on doing that."
Warnock insists that the club should be looking to secure a return to continental action next season.
"We have got to be looking to push on for Europe, our form in the second-half of the season showed that," he added.
Meanwhile, reports in Germany claim Rovers are set to seal the signing of Energie Cottbus goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel.
Neither side have confirmed the deal but it is reported that Rovers will pay £500,000 for the 30-year-old.