Mark Jenkins has opened up on the time that he refused to sign Owen Hargreaves for West Brom.
The former Baggies CEO, who made the decision to step down from his role at The Hawthorns this summer, admitted that he personally intervened to prevent the club from making a move for the 42-cap England international.
Jenkins has also detailed a similar decision which he took over infamously injury-probe Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby.
Speaking to the Express and Star, he said: “Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t do.
“We went for Owen Hargreaves and I said ‘no way’.
“And we went for Abou Diaby when he left Arsenal. He was constantly injured. But we went for him.
“His agent was there and I refused to go to the meeting. We were not doing that deal.
“He went to Marseille in the end and only played five more games before retiring. I would always make jokes at board meetings asking if he played yet. I’d always say ‘has he played yet, has he played yet?’”
Credit where credit is due, Jenkins probably got these two decisions correct.
While he doesn’t specify when the Baggies were keen on Hargreaves, the fact that he tells us that Diaby when to Marseille straight after would suggest that he, at least, was a target in 2015.
The Frenchman was a quality player, there’s no doubt about it, amassing 16 caps for his country while Patrick Vieira admitted that he could have been a better player than him, were it not for the injuries.
Some clubs would have looked at him and decided to take the gamble on him in the hope that he could finally sort his fitness out and become the player that he always promised to be.
West Ham have done a similar thing with Jack Wilshere in recent years.
But, as Jenkins points out here, the fact that he managed just six games for Marseille is a massive vindication for his decision.
In other West Brom news, Albion have seen a loan bid for this £9million-rated player rejected.