Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has all but conceded hope of keeping Yannick Bolasie, but voiced his irritation over the volatility of the transfer market this summer.
“The window has been particularly tricky because of the new TV deal,” he explained.
“The agents have been terrible in the background. [They have been] getting involved with players that are not even their own, and trying to take players off other agents. It’s all been a bit messy.”
With Palace opening their Premier League season at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, Pardew said he had “nothing concrete to announce” regarding Bolasie’s future, but conceded his departure was likely.
“This guy is a great player and a great person – I love him,” Pardew said.
“He’s a player that I don’t want to lose, but if I lose him then I’m going to have to replace him like with like.”
Despite Andros Townsend’s arrival from Newcastle in July, Bolasie leaving on top of Dwight Gayle’s departure would remove a vital part of Pardew’s attacking balance from last season.
Once Bolasie makes his likely move to Everton, it was suggested there would be more than two new arrivals but according to the Palace manager, the manner in which he has had to quickly recover his squad, with the transfer period nearing a close, is problematic.
“All of us are trying to find … harmony within the group of players that we have, and all of these players here have done brilliantly for me. So we’re trying to take the club forward in a manner where we don’t lose the spirit and the soul of what is a big part of this football club.
“The window shutting after [the start of the season] isn’t ideal. But of course it has to fit into Europe. But now we’re in Brexit, maybe we can try and change the rules and it can end at the start of the season.”