West Ham United captain Kevin Nolan says he thought Mohamed Diame had left the club after he turned up late for a team meeting.
Following West Ham's 5-1 defeat to Arsenal last Wednesday, manager Sam Allardyce called his players in at 7am the next morning.
And with Diame heavily tipped to leave Upton Park, Nolan said his midfield colleague's tardiness had the players worried.
"Mo Diame was a bit late. When he arrived we all gave him stick. We said we thought he had left us without saying goodbye," he told reporters.
"There is a lot of speculation in the media about Mo. To be fair to him, he took all the banter really well."
Nolan also expressed regret over his side's performance in the heavy loss to Arsenal.
"We were all upset and disappointed with the result at the Emirates and I apologise to our fans," he said.
"We are now focusing on the match at Fulham."