Everton manager Roberto Martinez has branded the current transfer window as a “footballing circus” and called for the authorities to make changes to it.
|Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines|
With four days remaining before the window closes, Martinez finds himself in the uncomfortable situation of awaiting bids for two of his key men - Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini - from Manchester United.
Martinez has sidestepped questions after it was revealed Baines had pleaded with the Merseyside outfit to let him leave Goodison Park.
Should Baines and particularly Fellaini eventually join United, it would almost certainly trigger a chain of transfers, that would include an Everton bid for Wigan's James McCarthy.
Given his side are now four games into the new season, Martinez finds the situation deeply unsatisfactory.
"I am sure the authorities will look at it and do something about it because it is becoming a bit of a footballing circus and it is not helping anyone," said Martinez.
"It is not just for Everton. It happens at every football club up and down the country, not just the ones who are fighting to win the title or avoid relegation.
"Unfortunately it is the reality of the game. I do feel a bit worried about it. It is not getting easier and it is not getting better."
Knowing Everton are hardly in a position to resist a bid from United should it reach the levels his club require, Martinez has to have contingency plans in place, and his philosophy is simple.
"You always need to make sure when the window closes, the squad is stronger than it was when you started," he said.
"That doesn't mean you will never lose players. It means you need to be prepared for any situation.
"That is what we are focusing on for the next four days in the window.
"There is a lot of speculation and stories, but once you have important games to prepare for, it is a bit of a farcical position that goes against the values we are trying to present in the Premier League."
Meanwhile, Martinez confirmed midfielder Darron Gibson would return to training this week after recovering from a knee injury.
However, the Republic of Ireland international is unlikely to be involved at Cardiff on Saturday.