West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has conceded that the club may not make any further acquisitions before the transfer window closes.
The Hammers have completed only one permanent deal this off-season in Thomas Soucek, who signed a long-term deal following his successful loan spell last season.
Sullivan revealed that his side have submitted bids for several players, but clubs are reluctant to let their personnel leave.
“We have a number of bids in for a number of players, but teams don’t want to lose them; these are key players at decent-sized clubs, outside the UK,” the Hammers chief told talkSPORT.
“They don’t want to lose them so whether we get any of these players I do not know.
“It’s the manager’s (David Moyes) decision. He doesn’t want to bring in players who are just numbers, just squad players. He wants to bring players in who will improve the team.
“I cannot say for sure we are going to sign anybody. As each day passes, I get more depressed.”
Sullivan also gave an honest assessment of where his club stand in terms of Premier League pulling-power.
He explained: “We’ve chased dreams the last two years and bought a pile of players who haven’t impacted the club, and maybe they will over the coming seasons because there are some damned good players.
“The reserve team we are putting out in the Carabao Cup is a very, very good team, particularly in attack… but we are short of defenders.
“We’ve got a very unbalanced squad. We’ve now got the funds to buy a player or two, but unfortunately at the moment the players the manager wants we can’t get, and he’ll be spending 18 hours a day looking at types trying to find players.
“I’m waiting for targets for the manager and we’ve got two or three bids in, but unfortunately the benchmark is very high and it’s very hard to get those players.”
TEAMtalk revealed last week that West Ham are interested in the services of Manchester City defender Tosin Adarabioyo.
As for outgoings, meanwhile, Hammers midfielder Declan Rice has been linked with a move to Chelsea.
Lack of funds
One of the players being targeted is Burnley defender James Tarkowski, with the Clarets reportedly turning down a £31 million from West Ham for the England international.
Sullivan hinted at his club’s hunt for Tarkowski, insisting that the club cannot spend vast sums on players.
“We have got limited funds; if we had £400million to spend and someone said you spend 10 per cent of it – £40m – on a 28-year-old centre-back from a Premier League club who will remain nameless, at £40m you’d probably get the player out,” he said.
“For 10 per cent of your budget it would probably make sense but to spend your entire budget on a 28-year-old centre-back…
“We’ve also got the fact we’ll probably get no gate money for the rest of the season and we’ve got to keep the club afloat and pay wages.
“We are not Roman Abramovich. We are not the owner of Abu Dhabi who owns Man City. Even they have some sense now in value and they won’t overpay on what they value a player.
“You can’t pay double what you value a player at. We haven’t got the money. The club will go bankrupt. These are difficult times and we have to be sensible.”
West Ham eased past Hull in their Carabao Cup third-round tie on Tuesday.