West Ham United manager David Moyes has said the club will be in the market for a new striker in the summer, but ruled out the possibility of an approach for Chelsea's Tammy Abraham if the reported price tag of £40 million ($55m) turns out to be accurate.
West Ham sold Sebastien Haller to Ajax for a reported £20m in January, representing a loss of around £25m following the French forward's club record arrival in July 2019. Haller's exit meant the Hammers were immediately on the lookout for a replacement but were unable to secure a deal for any of their mid-season targets, Moyes revealed.
Signing a centre-forward remains a priority, Moyes said, but the Scot was quick to dismiss the idea that West Ham had the money to spend £40m on Abraham or indeed any one single player.
"In January when we sold Seb we felt it was the right thing to do but if we could have found another striker we would have done it," Moyes said.
"We did. We bid for two or three but we did not get them because they were not available. But I wasn't going to get somebody who I felt was going to sit on the bench or maybe not contribute as much as I would have liked."
When asked if Abraham – Chelsea's top scorer so far this season with 12 goals but marginalised since Thomas Tuchel took over as manager – was a realistic target at £40m, Moyes replied: "It would rule us out completely. If that's the figure and that's what's being said, we are ruled out. We don't have that money, we don't have that to buy a striker at that price, no.
"It may well be [the total spend]. But you never know here. I don't think we will be making a purchase of that for any one player. I'd be surprised if we were."
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West Ham remain firmly in contention for a place in the Premier League top four and qualification for next season's Champions League. The Hammers are sixth in the standings on 55 points after 33 games, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea but can reduce the gap to three with victory in their game in hand against Burnley on Monday.
A place in the lucrative European Cup could, theoretically, boost Moyes' transfer budget in the off-season, but the Scot insisted that may not necessarily be the case.
"From the conversations with the owner I’ve got an idea of what sort of cash will be available, at that moment in time it didn’t change whether it was finishing 10th, fourth or whatever it didn’t change at all," he said. "There is probably a lack of money in the game.
"There will be a lack of funds not just at West Ham but at most clubs this summer, we have gone through 18 months of a pandemic with no crowds, no corporate and cuts in most things, so I think it will be a summer of lesser transfer activity."