With the number of reports and statements flying around about West Ham’s pursuit of William Carvalho, it’s hard to pick out the truth from the lies.

Slaven Bilic himself doesn’t really know the situation, but one thing is certain: he was desperate to sign the 25-year-old this summer to solve his defensive midfield problem.

According to leaked emails, West Ham reportedly offered a deal worth £23m to Sporting Lisbon for Carvalho, who is said to have a £36m release clause in his contract, and Bilic believes the deal fell through because of money.

Why didn’t it happen? I think it was money, definitely money. I wanted the player, we wanted the player, I know the fact that we have been in talks with Sporting Lisbon, whether they were official or not, I don’t do these things, I am not negotiation side of things. I suggested the player, I wanted the player, we talked, it didn’t happen and only because the money was too high.

It’s clear the Hammers weren’t willing to stump up a club-record fee for the Portugal international during the summer and they could well pay the price with a deprived squad and a dismal start to the season.