Bolton manager Sammy Lee admits speculation surrounding the futures of Nicolas Anelka and El Hadji Diouf is 'a concern' and concedes he may be powerless to keep them at the club.
Diouf has been public in his criticism of the Trotters team in the wake of their pointless start to the Premier League season, and claims that five clubs are keen to sign him.
Anelka is also being linked with a move away from the Reebok Stadium in his pursuit of Champions League football, with Manchester United understood to be monitoring the situation.
With midfielder Abdoulaye Faye attracting interest from Newcastle, Lee faces the dismal prospect of losing three of his most important players before the transfer window closes on August 31.
'It's a concern and it might be out of my hands at times - but at the moment it is only speculation,' said Lee.
'We want to keep our better players - but as I've said before, if people want to go then sometimes you can't stop them.'
Anelka has played for seven clubs during a nomadic career - while Diouf left Liverpool under a cloud three years ago.
Lee hinted at the striking duo's track record when he said: 'I certainly don't want them to go - and as has been mentioned before, certain people have had `previous' at being at football clubs about wanting to leave.
'It's not just Bolton Wanderers - there is a trend - but obviously we'd like to keep our best players.'
Bolton host Reading on Saturday, with Lee under pressure to conjure his first win since succeeding Sam Allardyce with two games remaining last season.