Aston Villa were convinced that Scott Hogan was going to join West Ham in the January transfer window.
Chief executive Keith Wyness told the Birmingham Mail that the midlanders were surprised when landing the striker from Brentford.
Hogan had been identified by manager Steve Bruce as a leading target but all the speculation was he was on his way to the London Stadium.
Wyness moved quickly to seal the deal for the 24-year-old, who had scored 14 league goals by the first week of January.
The Evening Standard report that Villa agreed a fee that could rise to £15million for Hogan, who is yet to open his goal account for his new employers.
“The whole Scott Hogan thing, we didn’t believe he was going to become available because we thought he was going to be going to West Ham,” said Wyness to the Birmingham Mail.
“It only came about in the last week of the window that we might be able to get the deal done. He’s always been a target and we were pleased to see, after his injuries last summer, how his medical side had stood up.”
Bullet dodged – see he’s already out injured for Villa. Initial forecast was months on the sidelines, but they now seem optimistic it might not be as long.