Ronald Koeman has dismissed claims from Moussa Sissoko which indicate the French midfielder never wanted to leave Newcastle for Everton.
Sissoko completed a deadline day transfer to Tottenham, who swooped in at the last moment to gazump the Toffees in the race for the 27-year-old.
And since moving to White Hart Lane, Sissoko has revealed he never went to Everton to finalise a deal, with a transfer to Goodison Park never on the table.
However, Koeman has dismissed these claims, revealing he spoke to the Frenchman – who showed his interest in signing for Everton.
Speaking on Thursday, Koeman summed up the Toffees’ summer transfer business: “Overall (the window was) positive, because we signed some good players.
“Of course, we had a disappointment on the last day, but that happens in football, because you don’t get always what you like to have.
“It was not in our hands with Sissoko. He chose finally a different option, but I can’t say anything against the club, the board, the chairman, because we did everything to get the player.
“I did not have the meeting with his agents. From the outside, it was difficult.
“I spoke to the player, I think it was 10 days before the last day of the window – and the player showed his interest in coming to Everton.
“Then, finally, everyone knows what happened.
“I thought that was the player for us, what we needed at that moment. Then the picture was totally perfect.
“But still, without that player, the picture is very good.
“I am happy with the squad and the signings.”
Koeman added: “I think it is also now for everyone more difficult than ever to sign players – the money, the salaries, the agents.
“I think it is overall a difficult time, because if you see what happened on the last day, clubs signing players, doing big transfers – you can ask why today, why not three weeks ago?”
The Dutchman admitted Everton not having Champions League football to offer players – unlike Tottenham – was a problem.
“Yes, that’s true,” Koeman said.
“I had that experience when I was at Southampton (whom he left in June to become Everton boss).
“It is all up to this season, how we perform, because if we reach Europe, and that is our challenge, it will be more easy to get these kind of players.”