Tottenham Hotspur have accepted that they are likely to lose midfielder Christian Eriksen - either in January or at the end of the season.
The 27-year-old has entered the final year of his contract with Spurs and was heavily linked with a move away from the club, although Spurs were initially determined to convince him to extend his stay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. A contract offer has been on the table for some time, but the player has resisted signing.
90min has learned that Spurs are resigned to losing Eriksen at some point in the next 12 months. There are a number of sides who are keen on recruiting the Dane on a free transfer next summer, though Tottenham remain fearful that they may receive relatively lowball bids of around £20m to £30m in January - six months prior to the end of his contract.
The opportunity of a cheaper deal is there, given the only alternative is Spurs losing the player for nothing. Whether Spurs are open to a sale for such a sum in January remains to be seen, though it could put them in an awkward position.
Eriksen pushed for a move early in the most recent transfer window, indicating he was looking at taking on a new challenge after six years at Tottenham. A move never materialised, however, having not been established as the prime target at any other club. That will change in 2020 however, as Spurs' bargaining position has weakened given the time left on Eriksen's deal.
His contract situation is just one of several headaches for Spurs. Centre-back duo Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are each out of contract at the end of the season, with the former keen to move abroad for the final years of his career.
The 32-year-old is eager to return to Ajax at some point, and could look to seal a move back to the Eredivisie giants either next year or in 2021.
When it comes to replacing either defender, Manchester United's Eric Bailly has long been high on Spurs' wish list. The 25-year-old will also be out of contract at the end of the season, so they may look to act on their long-standing interest and strike a deal for the Ivorian at some point in the next year, should he not sign a new deal at United.
They have picked up five points from their opening four games, but will certainly be eager to get back to winning ways when they face Crystal Palace on Saturday.