Lamine Kone has lifted the lid on Sunderland's 18-month pursuit of him - and why he is now delighted to be part of the Black Cats squad.
Kone has shone in his opening two games in a Sunderland shirt after his protracted move from French side Lorient eventually culminated in the Ivory Coast international sealing a £5million switch to the Stadium of Light.
The deal had fallen apart on two occasions before it was finally resurrected and Kone has revealed that boss Allardyce had actually been tracking him for the best part of 18-months.
Kone said: "West Ham were interested when Sam Allardyce was in charge the summer before his last season, but they couldn't agree a deal with Lorient, so it didn't come to anything.
"So I knew Sam Allardyce from that, and I obviously know him as a good manager from what he’s done previously in the Premier League."
Meanwhile, the Echo revealed that former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue is training with Sunderland at the Academy of Light this week.
Eboue is a free agent after leaving Turkish side Galatasary last summer and has been invited to train with Allardyce’s men.
Read more about Eboue here:
Allardyce is due to hold his weekly press conference this afternoon at the Academy of Light.
Reporter Chris Young is there for us as Allardyce gears up for Saturday's huge match with Manchester United at the Stadium of Light.
And you can follow our live coverage here:
Finally, Adam Johnson's court case is ongoing.
The Sunderland winger is accused of two counts of sexual activity with a girl under 16.
Jurors will begin to hear his case tomorrow morning at Bradford Crown Court.