Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has said the uncertainty over Luka Modric's future has unsettled his side.
Modric has been linked with Chelsea all summer but returned as Spurs lost 5-1 to Manchester City.
Redknapp said: "It's probably the worst pre-season I've had. I've not enjoyed it one bit, 'is Luka staying, is he going?' every day non-stop.
"I spoke to him at 1130 this morning, he tells me he doesn't know if he's right to play or not. It's not ideal."
Modric reacted angrily earlier in the summer after a meeting with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy when he was told he would not be sold at any price, after Chelsea's opening £22m bid was rejected.
It is thought the Blues have made subsequent bids for the 25-year-old, again to no avail.
He was left out of the 3-0 defeat at Manchester United on Monday after becoming unsettled by the speculation, and was absent again as Tottenham secured their progress to the Europa League group stages with a 0-0 draw against Hearts on Thursday evening.
Later in the week Redknapp had been confident the Modric saga had been settled and that the Croatian would remain at White Hart Lane this season.
The playmaker was included in the starting line-up for the City game along with Peter Crouch, another player whose future at Spurs is in doubt, but had an ineffective match and was substituted after 66 minutes.
After the crushing defeat Redknapp said: "He's a main player for us and he's been linked every day, even this morning I'm driving in suddenly there's [a report of] a £40m offer coming in from Chelsea.
"Then suddenly Crouchy is supposed to be going to Stoke when he's in my team and we're talking about him going! It's been a difficult time."
With the transfer window set to close at 2300 BST on Wednesday, there is speculation Chelsea are planning a final bid to lure Modric away, but the Spurs boss added: "I don't know if Chelsea have made a £40m offer, they deal with the chairman and the chairman's stance all along has been that he's not going to sell him.
"If he sells him now it's going to leave us up the swanny with about three days to go. If you were going to sell him I'm sure he would have sold him three months ago."
After signing Emmanuel Adebayor and Iago Falque on season-long loan deals on Thursday, Redknapp stated earlier in the week that he was still hopeful of adding Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra to his squad.
Reports from Spain suggested the proposed move for the midfielder had stalled but the Spurs boss said: "Things haven't broken down. There is still a good chance. The chairman is working on it."