Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is planning for life without Luka Modric but has again told the Croatian midfielder that he will not be sold on the cheap.
Modric, a target for Real Madrid, has been training alone - having missed Tottenham's pre-season American tour - while the clubs haggle over a fee.
It is believed Spurs and Real are still some way apart in their valuations of Modric, leaving the playmaker in limbo and Villas-Boas unsure of whether he will have a player to call on or money to spend.
The coach appears to believe a deal is likely to be done but, even if it is not, he has suggested that Modric will not be available for some time because of a lack of fitness.
"We have to move on preparing the squad thinking that the offer might arrive," Villas-Boas said following Spurs' 1-0 win over Watford in a pre-season friendly.
"We respect the mental state of the player and don't want to affect the running of the squad. That is the most important thing.
"He is training alone. It is a different type training, not as intense as the group training. When we feel it is the right time for him to be more involved, we will trigger his preparation.
"The individual is a good professional and is going through a difficult situation, but the club can do nothing about it.
"He has to understand the club can't do anything about other clubs' offers. The offer does not meet the chairman's demands, and we can't do anything."