West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic has revealed that club’s from the Chinese Super League ‘fell in love’ with Andy Carroll.
Sides from the money-rich football league have splashed the cash in a bid to sign top players and one reportedly offered the Hammers £32million for their striker.
A report in The Telegraph has said that a Chinese club had made ‘tentative’ offer for the 28-year-old.
The three sides, Tianjin Quanjian, Hebei China Fortune and Shandong Luneng had expressed interest in signing the England international via an agent, however, no official offer was submitted.
The engagements between the sides were ended early, as the enquiries arose in early February after England’s transfer window had shut. West Ham would therefore not have been able to sign a replacement.
With the transfer window now shut in China, Bilic can concentrate on making sure his target man is fit enough for Monday’s game against Chelsea.
“You know how much I rate him and how much we rate him,” said Bilic. “We want to keep him.
“As far as I know Chinese clubs sent representatives to watch a game and apparently they were watching other players but fell in love with Andy.
“He heard the story and I suppose he would be flattered, it’s nice to have options and good opinions about you from other clubs – but we haven’t talked about it.
“We haven’t been bombed with offers from Chinese clubs so I haven’t exactly been waiting for the window to close.
“It wasn’t like we had three, four or five offers from China for our players. It didn’t affect our training or relationships.
When asked if he would be open to sell Carroll, Bilic insisted the former Newcastle and Liverpool man was not for sale.
“No way, no way,” he said. “He’s one of our best players and we want to keep him. We wouldn’t want to sell him to China.”
The striker has been a key part of West Ham’s mid-season revival, scoring four in his last four appearances. A groin injury has kept him out of the games against Watford and West Brom, but he is expected to take part in the game against Chelsea after returning to training.