Everton defender Sylvain Distin is saddened by the seemingly imminent departure of Steven Pienaar and frustrated by constant speculation linking others with the Goodison Park exit.
Pienaar, who is out of contract at the end of the season, looks set to leave during the current transfer window after the Merseysiders accepted an offer from Chelsea.
The South Africa international has been one of Everton's driving forces over the past two seasons and Distin does not want him to go, particularly at a time when manager David Moyes would like to recruit.
Distin said: 'It's disappointing to lose Steven. You don't want to lose one of your best players but that's football.
'Everywhere I've been it's been the same, there's not much we can do - just stay focused and carry on doing what we're doing. I don't think it's a done deal yet, but it's disappointing.'
Tottenham, one of the other clubs to have shown interest in signing Pienaar, have also been linked with a move for Toffees veteran Phil Neville, although that was rubbished by Moyes.
Distin added: 'It's not a good feeling when you hope for reinforcements and instead it's just talk about your best players going. But you never know if it's just speculation or it's the truth.
'All we can do is wait and see what happens in the transfer window but I would rather keep those two players that's for sure.'
Moyes' hopes of bringing in more players may actually depend on whetherhe can raise any money through sales. The Scot was only able to bringin three players on free transfers last summer and he has said he willhave to concentrate on the loan market this January.
No go: Spurs' interest in Phil Neville (left) was dismissed by David Moyes (right)
An undisclosed loan fee has been received from Leicester for Yakubu and Pienaar's departure, if it can be concluded quickly, may give Moyes some leverage to bring in another striker.
Distin believes it is getting tougher to compete with other clubs for new signings. The 33-year-old said: 'It's obvious that the league is getting tougher and every team can get big players.
'Teams like Sunderland and Birmingham are buying players that three years ago they'd never have dreamed of signing.
'It's not a secret that we would like to have more players, like every other club, but there's nothing we can do about it. We have to stay focused, and we've got enough quality already to play good games.'
Distin was on the scoresheet as Everton fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Anfield.
The Frenchman equalised in the first minute of the second half after Raul Meireles had driven the hosts into the lead before the break. Jermaine Beckford slid in his fifth Everton goal to put the visitors for a rare double over their rivals but Liverpool hit back with a Dirk Kuyt penalty.
On the scoresheet: Distin (centre) scored in the draw at Liverpool on Sunday
Both sides will take encouragement from their performances but will not be happy to be just four points above the relegation zone. Distin, the former Manchester City and Portsmouth centre-back, said: 'First half, it just wasn't us. It happens sometimes, even when you have good intentions you can't show it on the pitch.
'We didn't play our football in the first half and second half we were a completely different team.
'The manager was angry at half-time and he made us realise we are better then that and had to give more. What he said worked quite well.
'Four points against Liverpool is OK but everyone is quite disappointed because we felt like we could've won that game. But in the cold light of day, three points at home and one away is good overall.
'We could have easily been two or three nil down at half-time so overall it was a fair result.
'It could end up a race with Liverpool to get up the table now but we're having a positive month with some good results and if we carry on we can end up towards the right end of the table. There will be less games now, and we can recover properly and move on.'
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