Exeter boss Paul Tisdale believes star midfielder Ryan Harley has been unsettled by the constant speculation surrounding his future at St James' Park.
The 25-year-old has missed Exeter's last two matches after being the target of several unsuccessful transfer bids and Tisdale believes his player's mind has not been focused on the club.
Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon: "It's a very difficult situation for a young man who's unsettled. Ryan's had lots of interest but hopefully by the end of January that can all seep away."
He added: "We don't want Ryan to go. We've fought off offers for him and because he's out of contract in the summer - people will make poor offers because they think we're desperate for the money - well we're not."
The manager is hopeful Exeter can fight off the interest in one of their star players and then get him back focused on playing.
He said: "Hopefully he's able to stay with us until the end of the year and he'll get his head back onto doing his job. Hopefully he'll have a few things ready for him in the summer and he can concentrate on playing for us until the end of the season."