Sam Allardyce has revealed he tried to sign then-Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £60m during his time as manager of Everton.
The Gabonese international eventually signed for Arsenal in January 2018, with the Gunners spending a then-club record fee of £56m on Aubameyang, who has scored 49 Premier League goals during his time in north London.
The 30-year-old leads the league’s goalscoring charts this season, alongside Jamie Vardy, with 17 goals as he goes in search of back-to-back Premier League Golden Boots.
And after he watched Aubameyang bag a brace in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over former employers Everton on Sunday, Allardyce conveniently revealed he tried to sign the Arsenal man during his short stint with the Toffees in the 2017/18 season.
“I tried to buy him at Everton,” Allardyce told talkSPORT. “It was about £60m or £70m I think. We were searching for goals after [Romelu] Lukaku went and just wanted to test the waters.
“We spoke through his agent, and we had a shout that he was apparently desperate to get away from Germany and get into the Premier League,” he added. “So we thought we’d have a dab, but we didn’t get very far to be fair.”
Nevertheless, instead of opting to pursue a deal for the Bundesliga’s most prolific goalscorer at the time, ‘Big Sam’ settled with deals for Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott – the £47m duo combining for just 18 Premier League goals at Goodison Park in over two years.
Allardyce remains a big fan of the player he once had a mere ‘dab’ at trying to sign, expressing his concerns about Aubameyang’s current contract situation.
“I’d be worried about losing him, really worried,” he said. “I don’t know what Arsenal are going to do. They can’t afford to let another one run out his contract with his value. He’s got 18 months left on his contract, so if he doesn’t sign a new deal this summer they’ll have to sell him.”