Fulham boss Roy Hodgson wants to emulate neighbours Chelsea and keep his defensive leader away from other teams - but he admits he would have to consider offers for Brede Hangeland.
Chelsea managed to keep John Terry at Stamford Bridge but there is still uncertainty over Hangeland's future at Craven Cottage as Arsenal are looking for a centre-back and Arsene Wenger is a known admirer.
Hodgson insists he would have to consider any big offer for the Norway international, even if he is desperate for him to stay at the club.
Hodgson, when asked if the situation is comparable to Terry's, said: "You could say that. You could use the same analogy with (Joleon) Lescott at Everton.
"Manchester United didn't want to lose (Cristiano) Ronaldo and they did, Liverpool didn't want to lose (Xabi) Alonso. There comes a time if you are Fulham, or even Manchester United or Chelsea, things have to be looked at in the cold light of day and you have to take things into account.
"It annoys me when fans say things like 'it's ridiculous to get him go' because to say that you have to know all the facts."
Hangeland is in the squad for the Europa League clash against FK Vectra tonight, with Fulham leading 3-0 from the first leg against the Lithuanian side.
After featuring in that win Hangeland is cup-tied for the Champions League - but Hodgson is not shocked to hear the centre-back being linked with top clubs.
"It's no surprise he has been linked with clubs because really good quality centre-halves are always at a premium," he said.
"When a club like Arsenal - or Manchester City or Liverpool - when they lose a player the attention will always turn towards who the other good centre-backs are in the Premier League and who they could be looking at.
"Arsenal have done their business very quietly and they keep things to themselves. We have had no contact with Arsenal and whether there is an interest only Arsene knows. When I see him interviewed he says he has enough centre-halves and is not in the market for one. Only he knows what his true feelings are."
Hodgson, meanwhile, is closing in on the signing of South Africa midfielder Kagiso "KG" Dikgacoi.
The Cottagers have agreed a fee with Golden Arrows and are awaiting a tribunal before Dikgacoi is granted a work permit.
"We reached an agreement with the club," said Hodgson. "But it will have to go to a tribunal because we have to apply for a work permit."Reuse content