West Brom head coach Tony Pulis has revealed clear-the-air talks were held between West Ham chairman David Sullivan and Baggies counterpart Jeremy Peace following the recent collapse of a deal for Carlton Cole.
Cole was poised to join Albion on transfer-deadline day having agreed terms and passed a medical, with the Hammers in turn ready to seal a move for another striker in Emmanuel Adebayor from Tottenham.
But as that deal fell through at the last minute, so West Ham pulled the plug on Cole linking up with Pulis at The Hawthorns.
Less than two weeks later, Cole is now likely to figure for West Ham in Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round clash at Albion
"That's the way it spins at times," said Pulis, who then confirmed the exact nature of what transpired between the two clubs over Cole.
"There was never a deal to be done unless West Ham agreed to it, which was right through to the last minutes of the negotiations.
"West Ham had said right from the start – they were very up front and very honest – they had to bring someone in before they would let Carlton go, and we understood that.
"Both clubs thought it was going to be done at one stage, but it wasn't, which is no fault of West Ham's whatsoever.
"David Sullivan even called our chairman (Peace) and spoke to him, and that shows you how disappointed both parties were.
"But there was never any secret as to what the situation was. If they (West Ham) had brought someone in Carlton would have been available.
"If they didn't he was going back, which was made clear, so that was fine."
Assessing Cole's merits, Pulis added: "I've always thought he's a good player who gives you different options.
"On his day he's a handful, whilst his goalscoring record – when he plays – is decent. For us, he would have been different to what we have."
Pulis, meanwhile, has confirmed he will be "going flat out" for a win that will give Albion a place in the sixth round for the first time since 2008.
Pulis said: "In the context of the season the priority is obviously to stay in the Premier League, but we also want to do well in the Cup.
"Sam (Allardyce) will also know how important this game is for West Ham, who are bringing up 5,000 supporters. That's how important it is to that football club.