Tottenham Hotspur are set to complete the signing of Stevenage defender Ben Wilmot after manager Darren Sarll admitted he was powerless to prevent the club's best players departing the League Two outfit.
Wilmot could be joined out of the Stevenage exit door by forwards Mark McKee, Ben Kennedy and Matt Godden – who has netted 13 league goals this term – as the club brace for a handful of their academy products to be signed by Premier League sides.
"As the manager I don't want to lose the best players – no manager does," Sarll told BBC Three Counties Radio.
"[But] part of my job is to produce players for the club to be financially compensated for in whatever way.
"We know that ultimately if Ben, Mark, Kennedy and Godden retain the level they've been playing at over vast time periods, we're going to lose them to a better level of football."
The Mirror understands that Tottenham are "confident" of signing Wilmot during the January transfer window for a fee of £850,000 (€950,000), despite Stevenage demanding a seven-figure fee to part with the centre-back.
Chairman Steve Wallace admits to having had several enquiries from Premier League clubs regarding his star player and will not allow Wilmot, or anyone else, to leave on the cheap.
"Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Burnley, Watford, Brighton, Bournemouth and West Brom have all registered interest and I am told there is also a top Bundesliga club that wants to speak to me," he said in a statement last week.
"To me, Exeter City set the bar for us all in League Two with the sale of 19-year-old Matt Grimes at £1.75m and they did it again with Ollie Watkins last season at £1.8m.
"This is the value of a young lad today with Premier League potential, no matter what league his club are in, with an individual package for the player that reflects the size of the fee. The days of top quality young lads being picked off early for relatively small fees and modest wages are over, reflecting the inflated value of a Premier League player today.''
After being named on the bench three times last season, Wilmot was finally handed his senior debut in the EFL Trophy penalty shoot-out defeat to Milton Keynes Dons, before playing against Tottenham's top flight rivals Brighton and Hove Albion in the same competition.
Outings in the FA Cup against Nantwich Town and Reading – against whom he was named man-of-the-match following a 0-0 draw – followed before his league debut came in the 1-1 stalemate with Morecambe on Saturday (13 January), in which he completed the full 90 minutes.
Having yet to make a signing this winter, the arrival of Wilmot would be the first addition made by Tottenham in what is expected to be a quiet January market for the club. Chairman Daniel Levy has tightened the purse strings, with marquee arrivals expected to be delayed until the summer.