Cape Town - West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew admits that he may be powerless to prevent Jonny Evans from being sold in January, amid reported interest from Manchester City.
The former Manchester United defender was linked with Pep Guardiola’s side ahead of the season, and is nearing the final year of his contract with the Baggies.
"I think you have to be realistic in these situations," Pardew said.
"Jonny is a top player, other clubs were interested in him in the summer. We know that and he knows that, we have to be intelligent and straightforward dealing with it."
Despite the transfer rumours, Albion still hope the 29-year-old Northern Irishman will sign a new deal.
"He is under contract for West Brom," Pardew added. "He knows he can have those conversations with us.
"We will give him the best deal we can possibly go to on the financial side and length of contract, but that might not be the whole thing with Jonny."
The Baggies face Stoke City on Saturday looking for their first win since matchday two, with their 16-match winless streak leaving them second-last in the Premier League standings.