By Joe Ellis

12th May, 2022 | 3:47pm

West Brom were close to signing Nemanja Matic and Robert Lewandowski - Dan Ashworth

West Brom have just laboured to a 10th placed finish in the Championship but things could be a lot different had two transfers gone through in the past.

Former Albion sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth has revealed that Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski could have played for the Baggies had transfer negotiations gone differently.

The 51-year-old, now at Newcastle United, was a guest on the Baggies Broadcast where he talked about how close Albion were to actually making these deals happen back in the day.

“Nemanja Matic was one, I went over and watched him,” Ashworth said. “He was going to be 200,000 euros.

“We had George Thorne at the time who was a similar age and played a similar position so for one reason or another we didn’t do it.

“Lewandowski was another where a lot of English clubs were looking at him in the Polish league and wondering if he would have the physicality, us included.

“He was on our radar and we were sniffing around for a period of time.”

Imagine

Just think of the feathers we would have ruffled if we turned up to the Premier League once upon a time with Lewandowski leading the line and Matic marshalling the midfield.

We certainly wouldn’t have been signing Andy Carroll in January if we had that Polish goal machine up front and Karlan Grant would have a genuinely capable partner for a change.

The ins and outs of the deals obviously weren’t to our liking and that is possibly one of Ashworth’s bigger regrets when he looks back on his time at The Hawthorns.

Steve Bruce shouldn’t be getting his hopes up for the summer though because something tells us that Lewandowski doesn’t fancy dropping into the Championship for his next career move.

Matic though is set to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season and if he wants to stay in England, we could offer a very good alternative option for him without needing to move too far from where he already is.

In other West Brom news, one of Bruce’s biggest targets in the transfer window is set for last-ditch contract talks with his current club.

Be sure to follow West Brom News on Facebook for 24/7 updates on the Baggies plus more exclusive interviews with Kevin Phillips.