Colchester boss Paul Lambert has conceded that he looks set to lose the services of star man Mark Yeates this summer.
Middlesbrough are reported to be leading the chase for the 24-year-old, with Bristol City, Crystal Palace and Sheffield United all credited with an interest.
Former Spurs winger Yeates has one year left on his current deal with Colchester, but Lambert does not hold out much hope of using him in their League One campaign next term.
"I'd like to hold onto Mark (Yeates). He's an exciting player, but in the end money will decide what happens," said Lambert.
"Players will have to go, because I want to bring others in.
"There is not the same money around as when this club was in the Championship, and I understand that.
"I expect things to happen with Mark, if an offer comes in that is good for the club. He would definitely leave a hole. You never like to see your best players leave, but I'm trying to get a few more players in.
"I know how many I want to bring in - there are six - and I want to be working with a first team squad of just 21 or 22."