Everton manager David Moyes has admitted that midfielder Marouane Fellaini could leave the club this summer.
The Belgian international was linked with a move to Arsenal in the closing stages of the transfer window, whilst Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also claimed to have an interest in the player in the British media.
And whilst the Toffees were able to keep hold of one of their prized assets this summer, Moyes fears the sale of Mikel Arteta could set a dangerous precedent that others may look to follow out of Goodison Park.
"Yes, there is a danger that selling Mikel could set a precedent, but I hope not. I would like to think we can hang onto our best players," said the Scottish boss.
"But there is always a danger when someone goes after saying they want to leave that it could set a precedent, and we will have to be careful of that."
With the 23-year-old in the final two years of his contract, the blue half of Merseyside are expected to try and cash-in on the player if they can't agree a new deal before next summer, with Moyes looking to avoid a situation similar to that of Steven Pienaar, who was sold for a relatively small fee to Tottenham Hotspur in the final six months of his contract.
Arsenal invested heavily in strengthening their squad this August, bringing midfielders Arteta and Yossi Benayoun to the Emirates, as well as Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos and Park Chu-Young to add depth in other areas of the pitch.
However, Arsene Wenger failed to land a defensive midfielder for the Gunners, and whilst they tried and failed to bring Yann M'Vila to north London, Arsenal are again expected to be in the market for a player in the position come January, and again at the end of the season if they are unable to tie up a deal.
Manchester United, meanwhile, were linked with playmaker Wesley Sneijder, with Sir Alex Ferguson looking to find a replacement for Paul Scholes at Old Trafford.
Instead, the Red Devils added to their defence with the additions of Phil Jones and David de Gea, whilst winger Ashley Young enhanced the attacking options for Manchester United.
The powerful midfielder was on the Manchester United radar before switching to Everton from Standard Liege in 2008, and is again thought to be of interest as the champions look to add competition following Owen Hargreaves' free transfer exit.
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