Alan Curbishley, the Charlton Athletic manager, admits Chelsea's attempts to prise Scott Parker away from the club could become as messy as the situation with Louis Saha at Fulham.
Parker has not trained with Charlton since expressing his disappointment at their decision to reject a £6m bid from Stamford Bridge, and he will not play against Everton today. But Curbishley hopes Parker will not follow Saha's lead in demanding a transfer, in the French striker's case to Manchester United.
"I can't stop people bidding for my players just as Fulham can't stop United bidding for Saha," Curbishley said. "Perhaps this situation will get messy as well. Everything is out in public now and there will always be bigger clubs bidding.
"If you're lucky enough to spend as much money as you want, then you go out and do it," he added. "But if they didn't have Roman Abramovich's money, perhaps Chelsea would be getting picked on themselves with players like John Terry.
"This has happened to us before but Scott has four and a half years left on his contract. In years gone by, we were desperate for phone calls but that's not the case now."
Charlton have shaken off their reputation as a selling club and are only one place behind Chelsea in the Premiership with realistic ambitions of clinching a European place.
However, Curbishley admits they remain as vulnerable as most of the rest of the Premiership when faced with the spending power of the top three. "Any club outside the top four or five are vulnerable to the bigger clubs if they come calling, but you don't have to do it," he said.
Parker's future depends largely on how the 23-year-old reacts to being dropped for the trip to Goodison Park. He did sign a new five-year contract last July, and Curbishley is keen that the midfielder uses the club's two-week break from matches after today to pledge his future to Charlton.
"We've got two weeks without a game and it may give Scott a chance to settle down a bit," Curbishley said. "But it could be a long two weeks. I think he's demonstrated so far this season what a good player he is. But if he doesn't train he doesn't play, and if the situation doesn't change he won't be back in the side."
* Fulham have completed the permanent signing of Moritz Volz from Arsenal for an undisclosed fee. The 20-year-old German full-back, who began the season with Fulham and briefly returned to Arsenal in January while negotiations regarding his contract took place, has agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal.Reuse content