Head coach Paul Clement says Gylfi Sigurdsson told him at the end of last season that he wanted to leave Swansea.
The Welsh club confirmed the sale of the the Icelandic international to Everton in a deal worth up to £45m.
"I made it clear at the end of last season and in text conversations with him over the summer that I would like him to stay," Clement said.
"His view was that he would potentially like the opportunity to embark on another challenge."
"I was aware from the end of the last season [he wanted to leave]. The conversations were open and frank, but you still hope there might be a change of mind."
Clement believes the club could end up with a better team despite the departure of the key midfielder.
"With the funds we have available we can strengthen the squad and end up being a better team," said Clement. "The club wants to move forward."
Though he was "disappointed," to lose Sigurdsson, Clement says he could sign "two or three players," to replace him.
"We want to improve our playing squad, we want to improve our style we want to win more games we believe that with the funds we have available we can strengthen the squad and end up being a better team," he added.
Clement says he was frustrated at how long it took to complete the deal to take Sigurdsson to Merseyside.
"It went on longer than anybody would have liked. But sometimes these deals are complicated. And when the two parties can't agree there's a time period where they try and get together.," he said.
"Eventually there was a time where both felt comfortable with the valuation. And that's how deals happen."
Clement was not prepared to talk about other clubs' players but admitted it was a "big challenge" to replace Sigurdsson, who was key to the Swans' Premier League survival last season with nine goals and 13 assists.
The Swans have had an approach for former midfielder Joe Allen rejected by Stoke City.
They have also been linked with moves for former striker Wilfried Bony at Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion midfielder Nacer Chadli and Hull City's Sam Clucas.
"We have not got Gylfi but we could potentially bring in not just one for one, but potentially two or three players to strengthen the squad in various positions," said Clement.
"I was on the phone to the owners last night for a good amount of time.
"We are talking about what we are going to do moving forward and funds are going to be available to strengthen the squad.
"Yesterday various people who work here at this club, their phones were going, the texts were coming in, the emails were coming in from agents all over the world, because they know we've done the Gylfi deal and want to do business and bring players in.
"What is important now is we move swiftly with two weeks to go. Time is important but we are not going to panic because sometimes the deals are better up until the last days."
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Clement hinted Swans might look abroad for better value-for-money recruits, despite earlier stating his preference would be to sign players proven in the Premier League.
"We are going to make sure any player we bring in here we will be paying what we deem to be the right valuation," said Clement.
"We won't pay over the odds for anybody. Our net is cast wide in terms of the players we are looking at.
"The way the market is now, particularly with British players, sometimes you have to look elsewhere to get good value from the funds we have available."
Supporters' Trust agree to share sale
Swansea City Supporters' Trust members have accepted an offer from the club's American owners Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien owners to buy up to half of their shares.
The trust currently own a 21.1 per cent stake in the club.
If members had voted against the sale, there would have been the possibility of taking legal action against the Americans over the manner of their takeover in 2016.
But out of a total of 927 members who voted, 684 voting were in favour of the sale, 231 against and 12 being declared void.