Is this the truth dictating West Ham's transfer business this summer?

West Ham co chairmans David Sullivan and David Gold before the match

West Ham United have been linked with all and sundry this summer and have made some signings, but is this the truth behind their activity so far?

West Ham co chairmans David Sullivan and David Gold before the matchWest Ham co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold

So far this summer West Ham United have brought in a number of impressive talents from around Europe, as well as some talented young players with a view to cultivating them into stars of the future.

Slaven Bilic has signed Norwegian midfielder Havard Nordtveit, Algerian star Sofiane Feghouli and young striker Ashley Fletcher - a player Manchester United wanted to keep hold of - on free transfers.

Their other signing thus far has been Gokhan Tore on loan from Besiktas for the season, albeit with a £2.5 million fee.

Picture Supplied by Action Images  Reported West Ham target Carlos Bacca

Publicising marquee striker search a strange tactic for such experienced owners

The East Londoners have been linked with just about every striker in Europe after co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold told the world they were willing to spend £30 million plus on a marquee signing who can bag them 20 goals a season - a strange tactic for such experienced owners.

None of those moves have come off so far.

However, they have made £10 million from selling homegrown Hammer and fans' favourite James Tomkins to London rivals Crystal Palace.

Wantaway striker Diafra Sakho's £16 million move to West Bromwich Albion was reported as having broken down on Thursday afternoon, but Enner Valencia has also been linked with a £10m move to either Lazio or Swansea.

As a result, even if West Ham do sign Andre Ayew from the Swans for around £20 million, as reported by the likes of the Sun, they will still be looking at a fairly even balance sheet.

	General view during trainingWest Ham's new 60,000-seater Olympic Stadium home will be packed out by a sell-out 52,000 season ticket holders

West Ham looking cash rich

That is before you even take into account the fact the Hammers now have the second-most season ticket holders in the country - 52,000, behind only Manchester United - and the bumper new TV deal feathering their new Olympic Stadium nest.

So is there an ulterior motive to their summer business so far?

Back in 2013, vice-chairman Karren Brady, who has masterminded the stadium move and migration from Upton Park, admitted the club must pay off all their bank debt before their switch to the Olympic Stadium, as reported by the likes of the Daily Mail at the time.

West Ham United Vice Chairman Karren Brady during the Olympic Stadium press conferenceWest Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady

'West Ham must pay off debt before stadium move' - Karren Brady 2013

Back then, West Ham had debts of £70 million, half of that bank debt secured on Upton Park, Brady told the House of Lords committee on Olympic and Paralympic legacy.

"We hope the money generated from the sale of Upton Park will be enough to fulfil our commitment and to help pay off some of our bank debt," Brady told the committee.

"When we bought the club we took on more than £100 million of debt that was guaranteed on the ground. We have to pay off all our bank debt to move, we can’t take the debt with us.

"If there is any excess (from Upton Park sale) it will meet some of that debt but I don’t expect there will be."

West Ham's manager Slaven Bilic looks dejectedWest Ham's manager Slaven Bilic

Frugal Hammers

In fact West Ham have paid out just two transfer fees (excluding loan fees) since August 2015 - for Sam Byram and Manuel Lanzini.

Whether their more frugal approach is designed to quietly pay down the debt while simultaneously wanting to lure new supporters to fill the Olympic Stadium only Sullivan, Gold and Brady know.

Reports suggest a series of bids for the likes of Carlos Bacca have been accepted, but for one reason of another the club cannot get them over the line.

There is no denying the trio have done an excellent job in turning West Ham around, but the English top flight is more fiercely competitive than ever and a failure to keep pace with rivals in the transfer market is a dangerous game to play, especially, with heightened expectations after last season's success and the big move to Stratford.

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