Joey Barton is disappointed at missing out on signing Everton midfielder Callum Connolly but hopes another player could come Fleetwood Town's way from Goodison Park in the coming days.
The Toffees' England youth midfielder joined Lincoln City today for the rest of the season on loan and could make his Red Imps debut against Fleetwood at Sincil Bank on Saturday.
Town boss Barton made no secret of his disappointment at missing out on the 21-year-old and claimed that Fleetwood have an agreement with Everton to complete a loan deal before Monday's transfer deadline.
Barton said a gentleman's agreement has existed between the clubs since Steve Davis left his post as Town's chief scout this summer to join Everton's scouting team.
The Town boss said: "My understanding was that they took our chief scout Steve Davis and we would get a loan deal off them as compensation for that.
“We are yet to get a loan player off them, so we need to firm that up."
Connolly came through the youth ranks at Everton and made his one Premier League appearance to date in 2016.
He has been loaned out to several EFL clubs, including a successful stint at Ipswich Town two seasons ago and two spells at Wigan Athletic. He made 33 Championship appearances last season with Wigan and Bolton Wanderers.
Connolly has represented England at all youth levels from under-17s to under-21s and Barton had thought Fleetwood were leading the race for his signature.
He added: “We were in for a player last week who ended up going to Lincoln, funnily enough. We could not compete financially with them.
“We thought the boy wanted to come here and would be a good addition for us. It was the right project for all of us and yet he was steered in a different direction."
The Connolly deal was completed the day after Everton visited Lincoln City in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
The teams also met in the FA Cup in January and Red Imps chairman Clive Nates said a relationship has developed between the clubs.
Nates told the Lincoln City website: “The relationship is something that has certainly helped to bring him (Connolly) to the club.
"But first and foremost, Callum is a player Danny and Nicky (Cowley, the Lincoln managerial team) identified as someone who could really add some value to the team."