West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admits there is “total confusion” over the future of midfielder Mohamed Diame as the clock ticks down on the January transfer window.
The 25-year-old only joined the Irons last summer from Wigan, but has been at the centre of rumours suggesting he was ready to walk away from Upton Park should a club match the £3.5m release clause in his contract, with Arsenal said to be monitoring the situation.
Despite a strongly-worded statement from Diame last week insisting he was "happy" at Upton Park and fully committed to the Hammers' cause, the speculation over his future refuses to die down.
Allardyce accepts the whole situation is now unpalatable.
"My understanding is that it is total confusion. I am as confused as anyone by what is happening," said Allardyce, who takes his side across London to Fulham tomorrow.
"I am sat there listening to what is going on (in the media), but deep down inside behind the scenes I speak to the chairman and where we are at the moment we are relatively comfortable regarding Mo Diame.
"However, whatever he [Diame] says to me today might change in an hour's time - if Manchester United ring up in one hour's time, he's not going to want to stay is he?
"It can change between now and 11 O'clock Thursday night. In the flick of a text, or an e-mail, or a phone call."
Allardyce added: "There is certain situations where yes, we might lose the player, I hope we don't.
"But if the situation develops accordingly there is going to be the chance we lose him. We are trying to keep him."
West Ham yesterday strengthened their backline with the loan signing of former Middlesbrough defender Emanuel Pogatetz.
However, Allardyce revealed plans to also bring in left-back Stephen Warnock from Aston Villa had been derailed, as the 31-year-old now looks set to join Leeds instead,
"Stephen we thought was a goer yesterday, but we had another club in the Championship make him a longer-term offer, which he has accepted," said Allardyce.
"Ours was more a short-term offer with a view to a further and longer deal, but at the end of the day he chose the more secure one.
"That was a lot of hard work which went to waste yet again. You constantly waste your time because 99% of the time you don't get what you want.
"We have been looking for a defender since late December and it has taken until this week to get Emanuel Pogatetz in."
Allardyce maintained there had been no offer for striker Carlton Cole, despite reports of interest from both Norwich and Turkish club Kasimpasa.
"The speculation that goes with it, in the media, is probably fuelled by agents telling you this players going to go there and this player might go here, so on and so forth," Allardyce said.
"It is hugely stressful window as ever and we will all be glad when it's over."
On loan striker Andy Carroll has been out with a knee injury since November, but there is a chance he could be included in the squad at Fulham.
West Ham have recorded just one Premier League win in the last eight, and were thumped 5-1 at Arsenal in their previous fixture.
Allardyce has called for a response at Craven Cottage.
"We know what the players are capable of as they have proved it, but we have got to get them to that level of performance again," the Irons boss said.
"Fulham are in a similar situation to ourselves where performances have been good, but results haven't followed.
"It is all about winning football matches and we have both failed to do that.
"Too many draws have turned to losses and too many supposed wins have ended up as draws - particularly the last one against QPR when we battered them from start to finish."