Everton boss Sam Allardyce will not try to prevent the club from selling midfielder Ross Barkley in the January transfer window.
Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were repeatedly linked with a move for the England international and last season's Premier League champions reportedly agreed a £35m deal with the Toffees on deadline day in the summer.
Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri even suggested Barkley had travelled down to London to undergo his medical ahead of completing the move, a claim which the player has since dismissed.
Barkley's proposed move to Stamford Bridge, however, did not materialise and the 24-year-old, who is yet to play this season because of a serious hamstring injury, has remained at Goodison Park.
However, that has not stopped speculations surrounding his future, with suggestions Spurs would table an offer in January. Barkley's contract expires at the end of the season and an extension is unlikely.
Allardyce, who took charge of the Toffees at the end of last month, has admitted the situation surrounding Barkley was "difficult".
"I haven't had the opportunity yet to find out the true, or the whole, scenario and say, 'Where does it lie?' and then make a decision one way or the other," he was quoted as saying by the Mirror.
"I'm not in control of that in too many ways. If someone comes in during January and says 'here you go', and the club say 'look, if he's not going to sign for us, this has to be the case', then I accept that."
The former England manager added he would be happy to play Barkley once he returns to fitness, even should he turn down the opportunity to commit to a new long-term deal.
"If Ross stays, and stays until the end of the season, and I feel he is giving 100% to the team, like he has done since he was a kid, then he is an available asset until he leaves on a free transfer," Allardyce said. "I would hate that to happen, but it might do."
The Everton boss could have to make the decision soon, with Barkley closing in on a return to action after recovering from what Allardyce described as a complicated injury.
"He's not too far away, by the looks of it," said the Everton manager. "He looks fit and healthy. The hamstring was a particularly bad one."