WEST Ham co-owner David Sullivan has all but ruled out making a fresh move for James Tarkowski.

The Hammers have made two failed bids for the Burnley defender - the highest thought to be £30million - but have backed down after being priced out.

And Sullivan revealed the COVID-19 restrictions - with plans to allow supporters to return to football next month now shelved - had affected their transfer budget.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “We’ve got two or three bids in but the benchmark is very high.

“We’ve got limited funds. If we had £400million to spend and someone said spend 10 per cent of it, £40million, on a 28-year-old centre-back from a Premier League club who will remain nameless, you’d probably get the player out.

“But to spend your entire budget on a 28-year-old centre-back, you’re struggling. We’re going to get no gate money, possibly all season. We’ve got to keep the club afloat and pay the wages.

“I can’t go and sign two or three players the manager (David Moyes) doesn’t want or we’d have a civil war at West Ham because I don’t pick the players. Our manager is a manager, not a coach.

“I cannot say for sure we are going to sign anybody, and as each day passes I get more depressed. There’s no point saying otherwise.

“We’ll go a little bit more but we can’t pay double what you value a player at. We haven’t got the money, the club would go bankrupt. These are difficult times.

"Unfortunately at the moment the players the manager wants we can’t get. He will be spending 18 hours a day looking at players.”