The Irons head for the east midlands tomorrow (Sun) bidding to arrest Leicester City’s Championship charge and keep or own Euro hopes on line.
But they will need to stop a player Slaven Bilic wanted to sign in the summer.
N’Golo Kante was on Slav’s wish list and has been brilliant for the Foxes as they have charged to the top of the Premier League pile.
The Irons boss revealed: “We were quite close (to signing him). But then we got some players before in the same positions and it would simply be too many players for the same position.”
Kante cost just £5.8 million from Caen but Bilic doesn’t believe there will be any cut price bargains like him and our own Dimi Payet with a new £5.14 billion TV deal kicking in.
He said: “It’s going to affect the price of the players, make no mistake,” he said.
“It was always like that, because last year it was like that and now it’s going to be even more.
“Definitely the directors or the chairman of the board of the clubs in Europe, they have one phone for England and the other phone for the rest of the world and they are all going for the English one!”
The Hammers banned Bilic from speaking about the controversial financial arrangements surrounding their move to the Olympic Stadium in the summer.