West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has revealed that a number of mega-rich Chinese clubs “fell in love” with Andy Carroll.
Hammers striker Carroll was the subject of interest from several Super League clubs after they were impressed with the 28-year-old.
But with the Chinese transfer window now closed Bilic can now concentrate on getting Carroll fit and firing for Monday’s visit of Chelsea.
“You know how much I rate him and how much we rate him,” said Bilic. “We want to keep him.
“As far as I know Chinese clubs sent representatives to watch a game and apparently they were watching other players but fell in love with Andy.
“He heard the story and I suppose he would be flattered, it’s nice to have options and good opinions about you from other clubs – but we haven’t talked about it.
“We haven’t been bombed with offers from Chinese clubs so I haven’t exactly been waiting for the window to close.
“It wasn’t like we had three, four or five offers from China for our players. It didn’t affect our training or relationships.”
Bilic also denied reports that West Ham gave an agent permission to try to sell Carroll.
The former Newcastle and Liverpool forward has been in fine form, scoring four goals in his last four games before a groin injury kept him out of draws against West Brom and Watford.
However, Carroll is now back in training and expected to be fit to face the Premier League leaders.
Bilic also played down speculation that he has opened talks over a new contract with the West Ham board.
The Croatian, whose current deal runs until the end of next season, said: ” I have a contract and I am very happy here.
“I always treat my next few games as my contract. I don’t think that much about it.”