Co-chairman David Gold says West Ham pulled out of a deal to sign Emmanuel Adebayor because the Tottenham forward was “very expensive”.
The 31-year-old was expected to leave White Hart Lane this summer having been left out of manager Mauricio Pochettino’s first-teams plans for the new season.
Adebayor, who saw a move to Aston Villa fail to materialise earlier in the transfer window, met with Bilic at Upton Park on Monday to discuss joining the club.
It is understood Tottenham were happy for the Togo international to leave and offered to pay off a portion of the final year of his contract – which is worth £5m – but Adebayor rejected their proposal.
Bilic, however, decided against pursuing a deal for Adebayor and focused his attention on clinching the signing of Hull forward and Croatian compatriot Nikica Jelavic.
Gold has revealed that, as well as stepping up efforts to sign Jelavic instead, the cost of signing Adebayor proved to be a stumbling block.
“I think it was more an enquiry and again, Slaven showed interest – we showed a bit of interest – and then it sort of all went quiet and Slaven obviously decided against it,” he told talkSPORT.
“Very expensive player and I think he just weighed it up and felt with Andy [Carroll] coming back, with [Enner] Valencia coming back, with [Mauro] Zarate coming back and, of course, he was confident we would bring in the player from Hull [Jelavic].”
The Hammers were initially keen on a loan deal for Adebayor but their deadline day pursuit was complicated by the arrival of Victor Moses at Upton Park.
Moses, who signed on a season-long loan from Chelsea, ensured West Ham had already filled their loan quota of two, with Carl Jenkinson having joined on the same type of deal from Arsenal.
Premier League rules state no club can have more than two domestic loan players in their squad at any one time.
Gold also admitted Bilic’s desire to sign his former Croatia forward Jelavic played a role in their decision to pull the plug on a deal for Adebayor.
“He [Bilic] came to us and said ‘look, I like this player – I think that I can get more out of him than previous clubs’,” Gold added.
West Ham also secured the signings of Alex Song from Barcelona on a season-long loan and Michail Antonio from Nottingham Forest on a four-year deal on deadline day.