Leeds boss Neil Warnock claims Adam Clayton was placed on the transfer list because they were struggling to agree a new contract.
Clayton was the surprise name on the list of players the Elland Road club are willing to offload this summer after Warnock announced the club's retained list.
The former Manchester City man was one of the Whites' shining lights this season and the decision to put him on the transfer list has not gone down well with many fans.
However, Warnock claims that a failure to agree a new contract with the midfielder and his desire to bring in new options led him to putting Clayton up for sale.
"Adam has done quite well since I have been here," Warnock told Sky Sports News.
"I just feel we need a change in certain directions and when I talked to his representatives I think it was clear that we were not going to get near the ball park, where they want to be on the wages side.
"So it was pointless dragging it on and we have already got Rob Snodgrass, Ross McCormack, Aidy White - whether they will resign or not is yet to be decided.
"I just thought at this moment in time, I wanted to bring in one or two midfielders into the club."
Warnock insists the door is not closed on Clayton to win his place back in his plans if they do not get the right fee for him this summer.
"If we don't get the figures, Adam will come back and fight for his place and that's what I have said to him," added Warnock.
"It does not mean the end of the world for these players. I have just got to look to wheel and deal and I want to bring in a large influx of players.
"We let five or six go yesterday and let two or three go a couple of weeks ago so we are working on thinning the wage bill so I can bring players in."