West Ham United spent the summer chasing a defender.
Having sold Grady Diangana to West Bromwich Albion, they promised to reinvest the funds and it seemed certain that they would buy a centre-back to cover their shortness at the back.
In the end, though, they met with almost universal disappointment.
No permanent deal could be done and they ended up signing Craig Dawson on loan from Watford as short-term cover.
There was interest in James Tarkowski, the Burnley defender, too, but that too was not a goer for the club.
And boss Sean Dyche has now revealed whether the Irons were ever close to signing the England international.
Tarkowski was also linked with Leicester City in the window but it seems that a deal was never even near the finishing line.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Dyche praised the centre-back’s professionalism, and is looking forward to the season with Tarkowski in his squad.
He said: “He’s a top pro. Look, it’s not easy for these guys; the market comes around and we’ve often had people hovering above us with a lot of our players down the years, and eventually we have sold players.
“But the model of the club, although we’re not spending and it’s very difficult on that side of things, it’s massive challenge for me from what we’ve done here, but we are stronger as a club because of that reason.
“So it is that balance. We don’t have to sell players, we’re not under any financial pressure at this club to sell players and that gives you strength.
“All it does do of course is the players sitting in the middle of that wonder which way it’s going to go, and that’s where it gets a bit tricky.
“But he [Tarkowski] handled it well.
“Players here previously that have had a similar noise around them have stayed here, got their head down and worked very hard, and I think he showed that against West Brom.”
Asked whether Tarkowski was close to a move to the London Stadium, he answered: “No, no. It wasn’t close.”
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West Ham wouldn’t meet Burnley’s asking price.
The Clarets wanted £50m for the defender, which is the release clause written into his contract, but the Hammers simply did not get close to that fee, per sources.
Every approach was rejected by Dyche’s side, as the Irons simply didn’t have the money to snaffle Tarkowski away.
The signing of Dawson was nothing short of a sticking plaster, and it seems that if Tarkowski is going to move in either the January transfer window or beyond, he will have to find a different destination.
The Hammers can’t afford him.News Now - Sport News