David Moyes admits people would ‘burst out laughing’ at West Ham bids

David Moyes says people would “burst out laughing” if they knew who West Ham had bid for this summer and admits he has lost count of the players they have targeted.

West Ham have made seven first-team signings, most recently the left-back Emerson Palmieri from Chelsea. Moyes confirmed the club had bid for Club Brugge’s Hans Vanaken and Lyon’s Lucas Paquetá and admitted they had been ambitious in chasing leading players. Paquetá, a Brazil international, is a 24-year-old attacking midfielder.

The manager accepted he had probably lost count of the number of players for whom West Ham have bid, saying: “Do you know what, I’d probably say yes. We’ve bid for a lot of players and if I told you who, you would burst out laughing and say: ‘You’re kidding.’

“Maybe we’ve tried to go way above our station, but we have tried to get really top players because I knew we needed it. For us a couple of top players coming in would give everyone a lift and help ease the pressure on Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Tomas Soucek.”

West Ham have brought in Alphonse Areola, Gianluca Scamacca, Nayef Aguerd and Thilo Kehrer from other European leagues and Emerson, Maxwel Cornet and Flynn Downes from British clubs.

“I think it probably tells you how little there is out there to buy, certainly British players,” Moyes said. “I think it’s been easier to do business abroad. Any of the British players, the prices have been really, really big for them. If you’re talking about trying to get the best-looking newcomers, who will be at the club for the next six or seven years, it will cost you big money, so that’s been a hard thing.”

Moyes says getting business done has been difficult for a number of reasons and feels agents have hampered their progress. “There are some players there in the market who have really changed the market price, some clubs who haven’t been able to spend, some who have spent a ridiculous amount on people; it’s been a very difficult market.

“We’ve found the agents really difficult and very, very expensive to get that side of the deal done. So much is getting added on to things now. If the real world knew where it was going, and what was happening, it would be a shock.”

West Ham play Viborg in Denmark in the second leg of their Europa Conference League qualifying round on Thursday, holding a 3-1 lead.