PHIL Parkinson talked through the torment of losing top scorer Gary Madine in the final hours of deadline day.

Cardiff City were successful with an offer for the striker which could eventually total £6million, a move which was confirmed at 9pm on Wednesday night.

Four previous bids from the Welshmen had been rejected by Bolton chairman Ken Anderson, who had previously stated only an “exceptional” offer would convince him to sell.

Parkinson held out hope he would be able to hold on to the target man, who had scored 10 goals this season, despite a written transfer request being handed in days before.

Madine had asked Wanderers for an improved deal to reflect his status in the squad – and when talks stalled, tried to force the issue.

But until Cardiff started to make a serious move Parkinson says he was keeping his fingers crossed.

“We were hoping it wasn’t going to happen,” he told The Bolton News.

“Tuesday evening I got a call from Paul Aldridge (Anderson’s advisor) to say a fee was close to being agreed but it spilled over and he didn’t get permission to go down there until about 11am on Wednesday morning; that’s when he set off and had a medical later on.

“To that point I’d hoped he was going to stay.”

Asked whether his squad was stronger having lost Madine, Adam Armstrong and Josh Cullen – who returned to Newcastle and West Ham respectively – but gained loanees Zach Clough, Tyler Walker, Reece Burke and Jon Flanagan, the manager added: “You’re asking a question, I think you know the answer. Probably not, when you have taken the top scorer out of the team.”

Parkinson says that despite Madine’s contractual wrangles with Wanderers, he had no cause for concern over the player’s behaviour in the days before his move.

“With Gaz his conduct was good,” he said. “It’s very difficult with a player when you have speculation – we’ve seen it with higher profile ones in the Premier League – but his attitude in training was good and on matchdays he did well.

“Last week he got a bit frustrated because he thought he was caught in the middle a bit. He did put a request in and wanted to know ‘am I going, can I get things finalised.’ “He wanted movement either way. He was fine, I have a good relationship with him and wish him all the best.”

Parkinson accepts the financial implications of selling Madine – a deal which made him the third most expensive export in Wanderers’ history behind Gary Cahill and Nicolas Anelka.

But the timing of his departure – and the lack of a replacement – has made life tougher for the Wanderers boss.

“The deal was initially in early January and we could have been in running for players then,” he said. “Unfortunately for us the Cardiff offer was nowhere near what the chairman wanted at that stage.

“It was only late in the day it came in. Ken has made a judgement call and he feels it was right for the club going forward to take it.

“Everyone knows money problems the club has had. Someone has to pay the wages each month.

“Ken knew the implications but as we always have done we will pull together, become tighter as a group and at end of the day hope it all works out.”

Ken Anderson had detailed his thoughts earlier in the day via a website column, which implied his hand had been forced in the deal by Madine’s request.

But the chairman insisted there had been no ill-feeling in the deal.

“It became obvious to me towards the end of last week that Gary and his advisors had decided on a move away despite having made what l considered to be a very good, new contract offer to Gary, whereby his salary and add-ons effectively doubled his current salary and extended the length of the contract by a further year to 2020,” he wrote.

“However, for whatever their reasons, Gary and his advisors declined to accept our proposals.

“Indeed, discussions came to a stage whereby Gary submitted a written transfer request on January 24, which was after the initial offers from Cardiff had been received and swiftly declined, and despite all the efforts made by the manager and myself to keep Gary, it was not to be.

“I reluctantly agreed on Tuesday to meet with the Cardiff chairman personally to try and reach an agreement that would be financially beneficial and acceptable to the club.

“As l said in my notes on January 17, and have said in the past, if and when an exceptional offer was made for any of our players, l would also have to consider the club’s longer term financial situation and base my final decision on now and the future, which as we all now know, culminated in Gary moving to Cardiff on a three-year deal and on substantially better terms than we could have offered him if l was to continue the prudent and commercially financial path that we are now having to take.

“I do not blame or disagree with Gary’s decision and fully understand that he has to consider his own and his family’s future as the life and career of a professional footballer is a short one and is sometimes made even shorter by injury, as has clearly been seen with Mark Davies.”

Although the transfer fee for Madine was undisclosed, it is understood the total value of the deal will be £6million – a large percentage of which was paid up front.

Anderson admits the lack of a direct replacement for Madine did come as a disappointment but options are still being pursued in the free transfer market, including Dutch striker Michiel Kramer, who was released by Feyenoord this morning.

“l can say that the determining factor in agreeing to the transfer, albeit that it was only reluctantly and finally accepted on Wednesday morning, was the fact that the fee was to be paid immediately with further substantial add-ons in the future, together with a substantial share of any future transfer proceeds,” he said.

“As has been stated on many occasions by other clubs, the biggest disadvantage of doing last minute transfers is the difficulty and almost impossible challenge of finding a replacement so late in the day, and as it turned out, despite making numerous enquiries and several offers to other clubs and players, we were unable to conclude a deal to replace Gary.

“Many of the names that have been mentioned in the media as possible targets were correct, but as l have already said, despite all the efforts by the manager, the recruitment team and myself, we were not successful.

“We have not given up on finding a suitable replacement for Gary and are today actively looking at out-of-contract players.”