Jack Ross has admitted that he could be powerless to prevent star striker Josh Maja leaving Sunderland, should a large enough bid come in.
Maja has been linked with Premier League trio Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton in recent weeks, with several clubs believed to be scouting the 19-year-old.
Talks are ongoing over a new deal at the Stadium of Light, with the Black Cats keen to tie down their top scorer to an improved contract.
The youngster has been a revelation as Sunderland push for promotion from the third tier, netting 11 times in all competitions this season.
And while Ross remains confident that he will remain on Wearside, he has confessed that the striker's future could be taken out of his hands should a large enough offer come in.
"I still believe he (Maja) will be at the club beyond his current contract," said Ross.
"Obviously there will be certain elements that are out of my control."
"If there was an offer that came that the club believed they couldn't turn down, it's very different.
"At the moment, the conversations I've had with Josh, I know he's happy, enjoys it, I think he believes it's an environment where he can improve.
"I would still be confident that he'll remain at the club but there will always be other factors and things that I can't control."
Speculation regarding Maja's future has ramped up in the past week, with Championship pair Middlesbrough and Bristol City also thought to be casting an eye over the youngster.
But Ross is refusing to be thrown off by the transfer talk, insisting it is part and parcel of working in football.
"I think part of it is what happens in modern football. When players do well, naturally they become subject to speculation.
"There're are probably parts of that speculation that are accurate and parts of that speculation which are inaccurate, it just goes with the territory."