Martin Jol insists there was nothing he could have done to persuade Clint Dempsey to stay at Fulham and even told the American he loved him before his summer departure.
Last season was the most successful season of the 29-year-old's career, yet he made no attempt to hide his desire to leave Craven Cottage. With less than a year left on his contract, Fulham eventually sold Dempsey to Tottenham on transfer deadline day after a period of speculation that unsettled the midfielder.
Ahead of his return to west London on Saturday, Jol said: "We did everything we could do so there are no regrets. He wanted to be appreciated financially and he wanted a bigger club, a Champions League club, and that is what he probably got with Spurs."
Jol added: "He didn't feel appreciated financially, but I am not the one deciding over the contracts. He said it time after time again that he wanted to go to a Champions League club. Even when I said in my last conversation with him that I loved him, it was not good enough to keep him here."
Asked if there was anything Fulham could have done to get make him stay, Jol said: "No, no. I think he felt loved but he still wanted to move, but of course I understand what he means.
"From the first day he came back from holiday he didn't want to play here. He wanted to move so of course you can force the issue and then come up with things. But hopefully he will get over it and hopefully he will feel loved at Spurs."
Dempsey will not be the only player making his first Fulham return on Saturday, with Mousa Dembele also set to feature after also leaving the club for Spurs during the summer.
Jol left an indelible mark at Spurs, with Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Tom Huddlestone among those to arrive during his time there. The Dutchman also brought Darren Bent to White Hart Lane and would not rule out a January move for the out-of-favour Aston Villa striker.
He said: "We have Hugo Rodallega, Mladen Petric and Berbatov, then in the hole we have Bryan Ruiz. We could do with maybe another creative player in that position, then I could leave Berbatov up front all the time.
"As the situation is now, it is different, but you never know what will happen and what will change."