Fulham manager Martin Jol has revealed the club were priced out of a move for Kevin Mirallas in the summer before his eventual move to Everton.
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Mirallas, 25, attracted the interest of Fulham after finishing up as top scorer in the Greek league for Olympiakos last season.
However, the west London club were forced to pull out of a move for the Belgium international due to the Greek club's asking price, with Everton proceeding to lure him to Goodison Park for £6 million.
Jol instead chose to bring in a trio of strikers to Craven Cottage for a fraction of Mirallas' price - in Mladen Petric, Hugo Rodallega and Dimitar Berbatov.
"We could have had him (Mirallas) but he was six or seven million," Jol said. "It is not like Petric on a free or Rodallega on a free or Berbatov.
"Mirallas was not a bargain but they (Everton) did well to pick him up. Mirallas was top scorer in Greece up front where he played on the left and the right and he is doing well.
"Everton don't buy five or six players. They buy one or two each year and then try to fit them in. That is their strength.
"They don't have to chop and change all the time. But you can't say no-one knew about Mirallas. He was playing in this fantastic Belgium team, with all these great players such as (Mousa) Dembele and (Thomas) Vermaelen.
"I think they will be unbelievable in the future and he (Mirallas) is playing in that team."
Despite Fulham's reluctance to spend big on a player, Jol admits the club would have no problem in doing so if the right target became available.
"Of course we would do it if it was necessary," he said. "I always try to find the real bargains and I think we did that. With (Nikica) Jelavic Everton probably did that."