The transfer market’s going potty, that’s according to a man trawling Europe for top-flight strikers to join West Ham.

Co-chairman David Sullivan said that the frenzy ahead of the European Championship meant that Irons target Jamie Vardy was quickly out of reach, and looks likely to land in the deep pockets of Arsenal.

Sullivan says that he has bids on the table for five players – but the England striker was beyond their scope.

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He told the club’s website : “It is safe to say that signing him would have smashed our current wage structure and we are determined to buy players with good value in this mad market.”

He added: “We’re working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make this happen, and with five bids in for players at the moment, we are hopeful that we can bring you some exciting news soon.”

So far West Ham have made well publicised bids for Carlos Bacca, Alexandre Lacazette and Callum Wilson turned down and, for all their efforts, Havard Nordtveit has been their only signing of note.

Talks will likely continue but the European Championship, starting on Friday, will necessarily act as a dampener with European internationals unlikely to make key decisions in the midst of a championships. However, there is fresh talk of a £25million bid for Theo Walcott whose career has stalled at Arsenal and who was not selected for the England squad.

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“We have done that exceptionally well in recent years, with the likes of Winston Reid, Cheikhou Kouyate, Aaron Cresswell, Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini vindicating this approach,” Sullivan said.

“All of those players have gone on to become stars of our team and you can rest assured that we will be bringing players in this summer who will prove to be just as influential.”

West Ham have been the busiest Premier League club since the season ended with Arsenal already shelling out the biggest fee – around £35million for Granit Xhaka.

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