West Ham on red alert for summer shopping spree after chairman's stark admission

Slaven Bilic - West Ham Vs Birkrikara

High flying West Ham United are on the hunt for more top players ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium this summer.

The Hammers are fifth in the Premier League with very real hopes of Champions League qualification.

Indeed had it not been for the phantom penalty which denied West Ham all three points against Chelsea last time out, Slaven Bilic's side would already occupy fourth spot.

It has been a magnificent season for the East Londoners and comes off the back of two seasons of top class recruitment.

Top class recruitment

A Sky Sports report has suggested the Hammers are willing to spend as much as £40million on a world class striker to profit from the brilliance of stars like Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet and Aaron Cresswell.

But a shock admission from a top club president in France means they might not have to.

Marseille president Vincent Labrune has conceded the club are in crisis financially in an interview with French media outlet La Provence.

That means they may be forced to sell off more prized assets this summer.

West Ham were the biggest exponents of Marseille's money troubles last summer when they signed Payet for a snip at just over £10million.

'We do not have any money'

Reports have suggested Bilic's key target this summer is l'OM's Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi and judging by Labrune's admission clinching his signature might be easier than first thought.

“For several years now I have not had the means to do what I want to do in this club,” Labrune told La Provence.

“For four years, nobody has listened to me, Marseille has performed beyond its means.

"We do not have any money.

"The owner does not have the means to invest in this club.”

If the Hammers are to snare a player of Batshuayi's class they will undoubtedly face stiff competition from across Europe and closer to home in London with the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur also reportedly interested.

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