Everton manager David Moyes insists he has no intention of letting the speculation over his future become a distraction to the Premier League club's bid to secure European football.
Moyes has been in charge at Goodison Park for the past 11 years and with his contract due to expire at the end of the season there has been renewed talk that the Scot is ready to leave for a new challenge.
The former Preston boss has been in talks with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright for much of the season in an attempt to iron out his future and discover if significant funds will be made available to strengthen the squad.
But those negotiations have failed to produce a new deal and Moyes, who has been linked with a move to Sunderland and German club Schalke, does not intend to make a decision on a new deal until the end of the season.
Kenwright admitted this week that is not ideal for the club but he respects the Scot's wishes and hopes a new contract can be signed after the last game.
Moyes, speaking on Friday ahead of this weekend's clash with Stoke, said: "Being at Everton is something I would be really happy with. But we have been talking for a long time now, three or four months, and everyone nudges along a little bit further every time we speak.
"As I have said, we will conclude that at the end of the season. What I am trying to do is make sure I give Everton the best chance of going forward. I wouldn't want it any other way.
"I would never do anything, in any way, to jeopardise Everton or the football club.
"I want to make sure the supporters see a promising, fresh-looking team for the seasons to come."
Kenwright has admitted he would gladly sell Everton to a wealthy investor willing to pump funds into the squad, but he is yet to find the right man and Moyes knows that without cash the club will find it hard to achieve their target of breaking into the Premier League's top-four.
"We have to make sure the finances we have give us the opportunity to do that," Moyes added.
"We have a small squad, and in truth we have an ageing squad as well, which we need to look at.
"I need to be capable of being able to make those changes for the best of Everton.
"We are well aware of where we are at this moment in time. I have always said that where we finish, what we do at the end of the season - that will be a better time for us to make a decision than just now."