Burnley manager Sean Dyche admits he is worried about seeing the likes of mooted Arsenal and Chelsea target James Tarkowski leave Turf Moor and is concerned about the Clarets' inability to compete with the wealthier Premier League clubs when trying to hold onto their key players.
Tarkowski has garnered praise for his commanding performances at the heart of Burnley's defence and was recently rewarded a new long-term contract by the high-flying Lancashire outfit, who saw fit to double his wages to £30,000-a-week.
Burnley will hope the news of the former Brentford and Oldham Athletic's star's new contract will discourage the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea from making an offer for the 25-year-old, who has acted as a remarkable replacement for Michael Keane after the England international joined Everton in a deal that could be worth £31m in the summer.
But Dyche, ever the realist, knows full well that the pull and financial power of a Chelsea or Arsenal could prove too much to resist for Tarkowski, who has also been monitored by Manchester City.
"We're not a club who can get to a level of payment that is so high that they say, 'I'll definitely stay regardless. Each player will have their own reasons when that time comes. Some get an offer so big we can't compete," Dyche was quoted as saying by the Times.
Tarkowski will certainly see out the rest of the season with Burnley, who are still riding high near the top of the table despite suffering a rather fruitless Christmas period, but it remains to be seen if Arsenal, Chelsea or indeed any other interested party ramp up their interest with a formal bid this month or in the summer.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is said to have designs on building an English core at Stamford Bridge after the departures of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole in recent seasons. Ross Barkley joined the Blues on Friday (5 January) for a cut-price figure of £15m ($20.3m), while the Premier League champions have also been linked with a surprise move for West Ham United forward Andy Carroll.