Sam Allardyce has revealed that he also signed Robert Lewandowski for Blackburn Rovers, during his time as manager at the club.
The Poland international held talks with Rovers during the summer of 2010, but the club’s financial restrictions, coupled with the volcanic ash cloud that caused the suspension of flights in and out of the country, thwarted the move.
Lewandowski went on to sign for Borussia Dortmund and the West Ham manager admits he is still haunted at missing out on the striker.
“I think about it every time I see him play,” Allardyce said.
“My distant memory isn’t that great but I think John Williams [former Blackburn chairman] and the board said we are not going to commit that amount of money.
“I think they wanted three or 4 million euros but we were particularly strapped financially at the time at Blackburn.”
The striker has since gone on to score 74 goals for Dortmund including all four in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg 4-1 demolition of Real Madrid.
“I watched him play but I didn’t get the chance to meet him. I think his agent said he couldn’t come over because of the ash cloud,” the 58 year-old added.
“He’s probably worth 40 million euros now. There were a lot of people looking at him at that time as well but we had the edge over everyone else because of the attraction of the Premier League.
“He could have used us as a stepping stone but it didn’t happen.”