Former Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed that his failure to sign Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud this summer contributed to his sacking.
Koeman was dismissed on Monday with Everton third from bottom in the Premier League.
He claims France international Giroud, 31, was on the verge of agreeing a move to Goodison Park.
“I had Olivier Giroud in the building,” said Koeman. “That was hard to swallow.”
He told Dutch football magazine Voetbal International: “That would have been perfect but he decided he’d rather live in London.
“You tell me where you can get a better striker.”
Everton sold Romelu Lukaku, their leading scorer for the past four seasons, to Manchester United in July in a deal worth an initial £75m.
“Lukaku was important to us, not only because of his goals, but because of his way of playing – strong, quick, direct,” said Koeman.
“There was always the option of the long ball to him. Now we missed such a player, we had Nicola Vlasic and Wayne Rooney, players who want the ball in to feet.”
Everton spent £150m on players over the summer, including midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson for £45m, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford for £30m, defender Michael Keane for £30m and midfielder Davy Klaassen for £24m.
Dutchman Koeman added: “We sold Lukaku for £90m. Our most expensive purchase, the Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson, cost half.
“It’s a lot of money, but in England you work in a world of different numbers. Players here all cost a lot more than they are actually worth. That’s how the market works.”