West Brom boss Tony Pulis says Saido Berahino is not a “lump of meat” and needs protecting during the summer.
The Baggies have rejected two bids from Tottenham for the 22-year-old striker, who has had a transfer request turned down by the club.
Pulis, who admitted the player could still leave The Hawthorns, said: “He has emotions and he needs protecting.
“He’s a human being, he’s not just a lump of meat who people are trying to sell.”
Pulis added: “It’s not just about football it’s about the person, about the lad and what he’s going through.
“I don’t think he is 110 per cent clear on what his future is. So many people get through to these youngsters.”
Berahino was dropped for last weekend’s 3-2 home loss to Chelsea, with Pulis saying he was not in the right frame of mind to play, and also sat out the Capital One Cup second-round penalty shootout win over Port Vale on Tuesday.
West Brom have been adamant that Berahino would not be sold, despite the bids from Tottenham, who have since signed South Korea international striker Son Heung-min from German club Bayer Leverkusen
However, Pulis said he was less certain about the player’s future, with four days to go until the transfer window shuts at 18:00 BST on Tuesday, 1 September.
Pulis added that he would asses Berahino ahead of Saturday’s trip to Stoke to gauge if the England Under-21 international can return to the first team at the Britannia Stadium.
In other transfer news, Albion have agreed a fee for Manchester United defender Jonny Evans and Academy graduate Adil Nabi, 21, has joined Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos on loan.