Sam Allardyce spurned the chance to sign Romelu Lukaku for as little as £10m whilst he was in charge of West Ham United.
That is according to the club's co-owner David Sullivan, who in an extensive interview with the Guardian alleged that the ex-Hammers manager only wanted to net the striker on loan from Chelsea rather than buy him outright.
Lukaku went on to temporarily lead West Brom's line before he enjoyed a fruitful four-year spell with Allardyce's current club Everton.
The Belgian is now first choice at Manchester United having made a £75m move there in the summer, and Sullivan seemed to indicate that West Ham had missed out on that windfall thanks to Allardyce's reluctance to bring Lukaku across the capital.
He said: “I asked Sam if he fancied Lukaku. Sam said he’d take him on loan but he wouldn’t buy him for that. Again I’ve supported the manager.”
That final comment came off the back of a lengthy answer from Sullivan as he detailed West Ham's supposed failings in the transfer market in the last transfer window.
The Irons lost out to Swansea City and West Brom in the hunt for Renato Sanches and Gregorz Krychowiak, and also became embroiled in a public spat with Sporting over the sale of the Portuguese giants' defensive midfielder William Carvalho.
That bitter affair came to a conclusion recently as the two clubs put their differences aside over the Hammers' pursuit of Carvalho, but Sullivan couldn't help to reveal the nature behind the deal that fell apart late in the summer window.
Fascinating interview that only reinforces my opinion David Sullivan desperately wants West Ham to succeed and be a force in modern football but doesn't have the first clue about how to achieve this beyond saying the words and hoping it somehow happens by accident https://t.co/KpTxgcBwTX— Dan Silver (@dansilver_) December 8, 2017
He explained: “We’re not liars and we did make an offer.
"The manager came to me and said he had an agent working on this who assures me if we give the player 70 or 80 grand a week and pay €25m to Sporting Lisbon, they will take the deal. I’ve gone in with a €20m offer. They said no.
“I told (ex-boss) Slaven (Bilic) that I was going in with €25m. They said: ‘We want €35m guaranteed plus another €15m of achievable add-ons.’
"I told Slaven that all we had was €25m and even that’s a stretch. I did what Slaven wanted and his agent couldn’t deliver. If he had said at the start it was €35m plus €15m of achievable add-ons, I would have said that I couldn’t do it.”