Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace did not receive a sufficient offer “from the sort of club” Wilfried Zaha “would want” in the summer.
Zaha was expected to leave Selhurst Park at the end of last season after helping keep the club in the Premier League during a second stint at the club that lasted five years.
The winger outlined his desire to leave in April and was thought to have held meetings with club chairman Steve Parish over his future.
But Zaha stayed at Palace after neither Arsenal nor Everton could match a valuation that seemed to fluctuate with each week.
Hodgson says the club would have let him go “if a really big offer comes his way and a much bigger club than Crystal Palace want him,” but both criteria could not be met at the same time.
“With Wilf, I don’t think anyone was thinking we definitely must block him because we want our best player still with us,” Hodgson said.
“We understood that if a really big offer comes his way and a much bigger club than Crystal Palace want him, and he is desperate to go, we are going to have to try and do some kind of deal.
“The unfortunate thing for Wilf is that offer did not come his way from the sort of club that he would want. I think Steve Parish has made that clear to Wilf and they’ve thrashed that side of it out.
“As a result it is not a major problem for me with Wilf coming back, having accepted the situation. The way he works here is just the same as it was. Since the first day he has been mature about it.
“It was a simple case with Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
“When it becomes clear that this offer is on the table and he wants to go, you react with more experience than you would when you are younger.”