Former Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has admitted that he tried to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during his time with the Premier League club.
Speaking to Sky Sports – reported via Calciomercato – the Italian claimed that the Sunderland board would not bankroll a deal for Aubameyang.
Di Canio believes that Sunderland could have signed Aubameyang from French club Saint-Etienne for just €13m (around £11.2m) back in summer 2013.
But the board refused to pay that fee and Borussia Dortmund won the race for the Gabon international instead.
After scoring 141 goals in four-and-a-half years at Dortmund, Aubemayang then completed a big-money move to Arsenal.
According to The Guardian’s report at the time, Aubameyang cost the Gunners £56m in January 2018, which is over €60m.
The 29-year-old, who operates out wide or as a centre-forward, has netted 17 Premier League goals this season and is in the running for the golden boot.
With 32 goals in less than 18 months in England, Aubameyang has shown no sign of struggle adapting to life in England.
This appears to be a real missed opportunity for Sunderland, although they may have struggled to keep him for the long-term if he was prolific every year.
Di Canio’s time at The Stadium of Light was short-lived but signing Aubameyang would have been a masterstroke.