The Newcastle United striker Papiss Cissé turned down the chance to join Monday night's opponents Fulham in January, the London club's manager Martin Jol has revealed.
The Senegal international scored 13 Premier League goals last season after signing from German side Freiburg for around £9m. Newcastle finished fifth but Alan Pardew's side have struggled, and go into the match at Craven Cottage level on points with Fulham in the lower half of the table.
Cissé has scored just two league goals this season but Jol is disappointed to miss out on him, despite the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United on the final day of the transfer window.
"He was always on my list. I can't lie so I have to say yes," he said. "He made the choice for Newcastle and that was it. [There were] three or four last year that were too expensive or they stayed and he was one of them. He was top scorer in Germany and played for not the biggest club. It's always a little gamble. With Berbatov it will be the same – [Arsène] Wenger said he didn't know he was on the transfer list. So there will be other clubs thinking: 'Oh, we could have had him'."
Fulham have not won since October, when owner Mohamed al Fayed exercised a clause in Jol's contract to keep him at the club next season. Pardew has no such concerns, having signed an eight-year deal in September, but Jol warned: "I could sign for 10 years but after the two weeks the chairman is probably unhappy. If [Pardew] is happy then hopefully he will be there for eight years. It's a good feeling but if you start to lose, then you get pressure again."