Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver insists that he did not want Callum Howe to leave the club and revealed that he turned down no fewer than four bids from Solihull Moors for the big centre-half.
Howe, 25, departed Wetherby Road for a club-record fee on Friday evening having been offered personal terms by the Midlands outfit that he told Weaver he "couldn't refuse."
The Town boss, who admitted the timing of the move is not ideal, said: "We certainly didn't plan for it for the week before [the new season], but Solihull have come on strong, that's the way they are going about it, they're looking at ready-made players, good players.
"The first offer came in at the end of last week, it's not been brewing all summer, this, it's just the last week.
"We turned down four offers from them. I didn't want him [Howe] to go, I told the player that I didn't want him to go and I told the agent that I didn't want him to go. But at the same time I was transparent about a club showing interest."
Solihull wouldn't take no for an answer, however, and came back with a series of improved offers before eventually meeting Weaver's valuation of a player who scored nine times in 46 appearances during 2018/19.
"I came in on Monday and said to Callum 'I've got to be honest, there's a club that have shown interest. The offer is a derisory offer in my opinion, I value you highly,'" Weaver revealed.
"I then told his agent. The next day there was another offer, I told his agent we'll again be turning it down. Then there were two more offers and a considerable offer, a club-record fee.
"They met our valuation, which I didn't think was going to happen. It was an offer that you had to look at and consider.
"Then it becomes a choice, it wasn't the board, they didn't put any pressure on me, but at the end of the day I have to manage the football team.
"We allowed him permission to speak to them and it was an offer he couldn't refuse in the end, he felt.
"It's a shame to lose him because he's a great guy and he's done well for us, but teams evolve and develop and you've got to get on with it in football."