Everton manager Roberto Martinez admits he has little control over the futures of his coveted duo Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini as Manchester United and Arsenal both remain linked with the Goodison Park stars.
Belgian international Fellaini has been linked with a move to both clubs throughout the summer, speculation that is likely to heighten in the next week given reports of a £22m release clause in the midfielder's contract that expires after August 15.
The 28-year-old Baines has already been subject to a bid from David Moyes' side; a £12m offer that was swiftly rejected by the Toffees who are looking for an offer in the region of £20m, a demand that so far deterred United from returning with an increased bid.
Comments from chairman Bill Kenwright have suggested the club are confident of retaining the services of two of the club's most influential players, but Martinez has hinted he cannot guarantee their presence at Goodison Park next season.
"You should never ask a manager that," Martinez told the Daily Mirror when asked whether the sought after duo will be at the club after the transfer window closes.
"The modern game does not allow a manager to have that control.
"I don't think speculation is healthy. We are just trying to become as good as we can before the transfer window closes. If we get clubs talking about our players we take it as a compliment because it means the players have been impressing and doing really well.
"Everyone is really focused to try to fight for that starting spot at the beginning of the season. The competitive level in his group is quite impressive."
Both Arsenal and United have been given assurances by their respective boards that they will have full financial backing in their transfer dealings this summer.
Although the Gunners remain primarily focused on the pursuit of Liverpool's Luis Suarez, Abou Diaby's continued absence suggests Arsene Wenger will be in the market for another imposing presence in his midfield, a gap the 6ft 4 Fellaini could certainly provide.
United have been consistently linked with the Everton pair following Moyes' appointment in May. The club's priority at this moment in time is Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas, but it remains to be seen if the club will return to Everton will an improved offer for Baines.