Big Sam: How I missed out on Champions League hotshot Lewandowski
08:25 GMT, 26 April 2013
09:01 GMT, 26 April 2013
'title': 'Big Sam: How I missed out on Champions League hero Lewandowski',
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has revealed how he missed out on signing Robert Lewandowski – during his time in charge at Blackburn.
The Borussia Dortmund striker was set to hold talks with Rovers in 2010 as he looked for a move from Polish club Lech Poznan.
But the cash-strapped Blackburn board struggled to find the money and the Iceland volcanic ash cloud put the final nail in the coffin when Lewandowski's flight to England was cancelled.
Dortmund stepped in to secure a deal for a fee reported to be around 4.5million euros and the rest is now history.
On target: Lewandowski was set to hold talks with Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in 2010
Allardyce told Sky Sports: 'It's true. He was put forward to sign very strongly by our recruitment staff and unfortunately it was one that got knocked back.
'My distant memory isn't that great but I think (former Rovers chairman) John (Williams) and the board said we are not going to commit that amount of money.
'I think they wanted three or four million euros but we were particularly strapped financially at the time at Blackburn. 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, yes. He's probably worth 40 million euros now.'
Missed out: Allardyce was keen to sign Lewandowski but the Rovers board could not find the cash
Allardyce is now left to rue the missed opportunity to sign the Pole who scored four goals against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.
He said: 'I think about it every time I see him play.
'He would have had a period of getting used to the level and the physical presence, but with a talent like that it wouldn't have been too long before he started to shine and score goals.
'The level he is playing at now is unbelievable, not just his scoring ability but his ability to retain possession.
'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.'
The one that got away: Lewandowski moved from Lech Poznan to Dortmund for a reported 4.5million euros