Sam Allardyce lined up moves for these players as Newcastle United manager

Luka Modric

Allardyce said Branislav Ivanovic, Luka Modric and Phil Jagielka were all on his radar during his time at Newcastle United.

West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce has been reflecting on his time as boss of Newcastle United. 

Allardyce left Bolton Wanderers to take on the job at St James' Park in 2007, but lasted just half a season before being sacked by Mike Ashley midway through the campaign.

In an interview with the Daily Express, Allardyce explained the lure of a bigger transfer budget than the one at Bolton initially attracted him to the North East, but he believes his ill-fated reign at the Magpies ruined any opportunity of managing at a higher level, but has revealed he could've signed players who went on to be a success in the Premier League including Luka Modric, Branislav Ivanovic and Phil Jagileka.

He said: "It was the spending the power of Newcastle that attracted me. I'd had limited funds at Bolton and it was the opportunity for the bigger pot - and Freddy [chairman Freddy Shephard] wanted to emulate the success they had in the Kevin Keegan era.

"With Mike taking over those funds never materialised. I had lined up moves for Phil Jaglielka, Luka Modric and Branislav Ivanovic - people on my Bolton recruitment database.

"Not big stars but quality players and with the finances I was being promised at Newcastle, we could have done something."

Modric ended up becoming one of the best players in the Premier League and secured a move to Real Madrid as a result of his impressive spell at Tottenham - and last season was part of the side that delivered Real's 10th European Cup triumph. 

Branislav Ivanovic has been an excellent and reliable servant at the back during his time at Chelsea and looks as though he will enjoy more success at Stamford Bridge this season under Jose Mourinho, whilst Phil Jagielka has been impressive over the years at Everton - leading to him becoming a regular in the England side.

Unfortunately for Newcastle, these players weren't on their way and after a disappointing spell under the former Bolton Wanderers manager, the side continued to slide and found themselves relegated the following season, but returned to the Premier League by winning the Championship in 2010.

One does wonder how a Newcastle side would have looked with those three players seven years ago if they had managed to get deals done for them. There would certainly have been a few more leaders about the side, a little more defensive solidity and a clever playmaker in the form of Modric.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch