Steve Bruce accepts he is a facing a losing battle to keep Emile Heskey at Wigan, but it is thought the England man will stay at The JJB until the end of the season at least.
Heskey's contract expires at the end of the season and there has been no indication yet he is ready to sign an extension.
Aston Villa and Tottenham are amongst those thought to be suitors for a player in the form of his career, but it has been reported a January exit is not on the cards.
A more likely scenario is the 30-year-old running down the clock before weighing up his options again in the summer; a turn of events which Bruce has long-since accepted.
"When his confidence is high he is a handful," Bruce concedes in the News of the World.
"And he is now starting to go past people again. I have the utmost regard for him and what he does for the rest of his life is up to him.
"If he does allow his contract to run out, he will have a number of suitors because he has done very well.
"With the way he is playing for Wigan and England, it would not be difficult to see him pushed back in the limelight."