Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip knows it's inevitable Aaron Mooy will be snapped up by an overseas club, but he's certain the star midfielder will at least see out this A-League season at AAMI Park.
As Mooy's eye-catching form continues, so does speculation the 25-year-old will leave the local competition, most likely for Europe, during the January transfer window.
On Thursday night he was surprisingly linked with Saudi Arabian giants Al-Nassr.
"I've got a bit of a scoop for you on Aaron Mooy," Fox Sports pundit Robbie Slater said during live coverage of City's 5-1 decimation of Central Coast.
"There are strong rumours and my sources are telling me that Al-Nassr, coached by (Italian great) Fabio Cannavaro, are extremely interested in him."
But van 't Schip was confident the player described by Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou as the best and most exciting in the A-League was not going anywhere yet.
"What we understand from Aaron is that he's really happy, he wants to stay here and at least wants to finish this year and continue his good play," the Dutchman said.
"He's happy he's now getting a stable position in the Socceroos, and one of the reasons is that he's playing in the A-League at a very high level that Ange is happy with. It's important for him to continue that.
"If he continues like this there will be a next step, that's normal. Hopefully it will be a club that will be very good for him and he fits in.
"But for now we're all quite sure he's going to stay."
Mooy, who signed a three-year contract extension in August, has put his recent potency down to being allowed to play further forward and more creatively for City than he was at previous club Western Sydney.
He's scored four goals this season and has been the architect in a chunk of others.
Despite contributing a late goal on Thursday, new-dad Mooy was shackled for most of the match by diligent youngster Harry Ascroft, who man-marked him in place of suspended captain Nick Montgomery.
The Mariners' focus on shutting the star down opened up space for Harry Novillo to run riot and net a brace, while Bruno Fornaroli put away his seventh this season and Stefan Mauk also joined the action.
With two consecutive 5-1 scorelines under their belts, City have surged to fourth on the table and have 10 days to recover before their visit to Newcastle next Sunday.
"Now we're just coming back into the positions that are giving you the view to the top," van 't Schip said.
"This is the start and we have to continue getting good results and improving."