David Moyes is adamant that Marouane Fellaini can achieve his dreams of Champions League football by staying at Everton, but he has not ruled out cashing in on his latest talisman.
Fellaini, 24, is the club's leading scorer with six goals this season, and his form has attracted interest from Chelsea and Real Madrid.
The Belgian midfielder, who can also play in attack, scored the equaliser and then set up a winner for Nikica Jelavic as Everton came from a goal down to beat Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday.
It was a victory that ended a run of four straight draws for Moyes' side and kept them in fourth place in the Premier League.
That would be enough to carry them into the Champions League if they were still there at the end of the season.
Moyes can understand why the top clubs in Europe would be interested in a player who has been one of the outstanding Premier League performers this season.
The Everton manager is philosophical enough to admit that he may get an offer he cannot refuse for a player signed from Standard Liege for £15 million in 2008. But he will not let Fellaini go cheaply – and reckons he can help guide his current side into the Champions League by staying put.
"Everybody knows where he is and if they want to come and watch him that's up to them," Moyes told the Liverpool Daily Post.
"It would be a big price on his head but we've got no problem in people coming and watching him. "I'm not in the mood now to keep the fight going all the time because we've had to do it with a lot of players.
"But Felli knows what I think and I know what he thinks and I think more than anything he'd love to take Everton into the Champions League and that's what we'll try to achieve.
"I think we've got to the stage at Everton where I say: 'Look, we've lost some really good players but I don't think it's stopped us from progressing the team.'
"In fact, people might say Everton have lost good players but they've actually gone and we've improved."
Moyes has had to sell key players to balance his budget in recent years, most notably defender Joleon Lescott, who went to Manchester City for £22 million in 2009, and midfielder Mikel Arteta, who went to Arsenal for £10 million in 2011.
Yet despite those departures, Everton have consistently finished in the top half of the Premier League.
"We sold Lescott, we sold Arteta and we've all felt really down when we've lost those players but we've had to pick ourselves up and go and find other ones," Moyes said.
"The club will always be bigger than any player, any manager, and the players we've brought in are showing that."