Sam Allardyce admits he was keen to take Connor Wickham off Sunderland’s hands during his stint as West Ham boss.
Sunderland rejected a couple of bids from the Hammers for Wickham in August 2014 after the striker had scored the goals to keep the Black Cats in the Premier League.
But in his autobiography Big Sam, new Sunderland manager Allardyce has revealed that he thought he could land Wickham for around the £8million mark, with the England Under-21 international eventually joining Crystal Palace this summer.
“I don’t mind admitting I wanted Connor Wickham from Sunderland,” Allardyce writes.
“He was underperforming for them, but I felt we would play to his strengths and he would get us goals and assists the way Kevin Davies did for Bolton.
“Sunderland wouldn’t play ball though, despite us being encouraged to go for it by his agent who was sure they would let him leave for £8million.
“It turned out that wasn’t the case.”
Meanwhile, Allardyce has confirmed that he rejected the chance to become Sunderland manager in the summer of 2006, prior to the appointment of Roy Keane at the Stadium of Light.
“Their chairman Niall Quinn, who I knew from my days with Reidy (Peter Reid) as a Sunderland coach, had asked me to take over before Roy, but I turned him down,” said Allardyce.