West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan has admitted he would have signed Charlie Austin for the Hammers had he known QPR were willing to sell the striker for just £4million.
Austin agreed a shock switch to Southampton from QPR last month for that bargain fee, then headed their winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford on his debut.
The player was named as our No 1 selection in our Top 10 deals of the Transfer Window.
Austin is now set to face Sullivan’s Hammers on Saturday and will no doubt be eager to prove a point.
Sullivan was criticised by the 26-year-old marksman last August for revealing the player had failed a medical when set to join Hull and would be a “big risk” at £12m.
Sullivan has now moved to clarify his comments, writing in the match programme ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Aston Villa.
He said: “Our next league game is away at Southampton and I just want to clarify my views on the Charlie Austin situation.
“Contrary to reports, he is a player I have always greatly admired and his climb through the divisions is inspiring.
“I once said at £12million he was a gamble, with his injury record. However, if his financial demands are reasonable, Southampton have got fantastic value at £4m.
“Had I known he was available at that price, I would have taken the gamble myself — and I am sure half the Premier League clubs would have as well.”